Earning While Retired: What You Need to Know

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A lot of seniors rely heavily on Social Security to supplement their income. Social Security, while a hard-earned benefit that helps us in our retirement, may not be the only retirement funding we need. To fund our retirements, consider a “half-retirement,” first. That’s where we still earn Social Security benefits while continuing to earn for ourselves.

Retirement is expensive and adding to your saving, while enjoying Social Security benefits, will help you afford the retirement you want. The best thing is that the SSA states it is possible to earn benefits and an income at the same time.

There are some rules, but if you’re approaching full retirement age (67 and up) you could earn up to $50,520 a year with no penalty to your benefits, and still collect your full Social Security benefit. The income limit is different for those under the full retirement age.

You do face a benefit reduction if you make a greater income than the SSA’s capped amount; however, you still have benefits. For seniors leading up to full retirement age, the SSA will reduce your benefits by $1 for every $3 over the $50,520 cap.

The SSA factors into your Social Security calculations your wages, commissions, and vacation pay from thirty-five of your top earning years. If you have a high earning year, your benefits for that year would reduce because your income exceeds the limit; however, your overall benefit may increase moving forward.

Most importantly, according to the SSA “starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you can get your benefits with no limit to your earnings.” That is huge. You can work for a few more years, earn as much as you can, and enjoy your full benefit. Working more than you thought can be rough, but it isn’t set in stone. You can be in control of how you work too, taking the time to work for yourself or make money from a passion.

All this pads your retirement savings so that you can enjoy this next chapter in life. Staying up to date about how to make your benefits work for you, and how to protect your benefits is essential as well. Take control, earn when and how you want to, and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

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