Working While Retired

two women smiling and looking at flowersRetirement life is different for everyone. Social Security is here to secure today and tomorrow, whether you sail into the sunset or decide to continue working. Some of our rules allow you to receive Social Security retirement or survivor benefits and work at the same time, as long as you don’t make more than Social Security’s annual earnings limit. For 2017, that limit is $16,920.

If you’re younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we’ll reduce your Social Security benefits. But starting with the month you reach full retirement age, we will not reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. Our retirement planner explains the requirement and deductions, and what happens after you reach full retirement age.

Two of our online tools can help you find the information you need to make the right decision for you. You can find your full retirement age based on your date of birth by using our Retirement Age Calculator. Our Retirement Earnings Test Calculator can help you find out how much your benefits may be reduced if you are working and haven’t reached your full retirement age.

There are several things to consider if you plan to continue working after you retire. Our website gives you detailed information for the type of employment that you have. It also explains what types of pensions, annuities, and income do not count toward your earnings limits.

Additional earnings after you start collecting benefits might increase your monthly benefit. If there’s an increase, we’ll send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount. If you think your earnings will be different than what you originally told us, let us know right away. For more information, read How Work Affects Your Benefits or visit our website. No matter what you decide to do with your retirement life, you can count on Social Security.

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438 thoughts on “Working While Retired

  1. I am thinking of retiring at 65 years old but my full retirement age is 66 and 4 months how much money can I earn per year if I retire at 65

    • Hi Allen, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. The amount you’re allowed to earn while receiving benefits depends on your age. If you attain full retirement age (66) in 2020, the earnings limit is $46,800 but we only count earnings before the month you reach full retirement age. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you’re under full retirement age for the entire year, then we deduct $1 from benefit payments for every $2 earned above the annual limit. For 2020, that limit is $18,240.

      Visit our Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working and our Retirement Earnings Test Calculator. Hope this helps!

  2. I am 76 and retired. I am also a consultant for a company but was told I would lose 2,000 a month from my $5,000 a month salary.

    Can I receive unemployment insurance?

    • Hi, Barry. You can get information about unemployment benefits in your area from your state or local social services or welfare office. Additionally, unemployment insurance benefits are not counted under the Social Security annual earnings test and therefore do not affect your receipt of Social Security benefits. For more information about receiving Social Security and unemployment at the same time, visit here. We hope this helps.

  3. I am retired and I am 76. I work as a consultant for a company and I I have lost $2,000 out of my salary.

    Can I collect Unemployment Insurance ?

  4. I will be 66 on 7/28/2020. I am still working full time. I plan to retire at the end of the year when do I need to sign up for my social security?
    Thank you.

  5. Hello, I”m retired and I want to know if I get a part time job, how much money I can make before I have to claim taxes?
    Thank You….. Estelle Mac Lean ….. *** – ** – ***

  6. Is it possible to receive the SS benefit before the full retirement and stop the benefit again until the full retirement?

  7. I will be 66 in May 2020. Can I apply for full retirement benefits in May? And I am working a small part time from my home office doing computer work for a mortgage loan officer. I’m a widow. I’d like to apply for my husbands SS since it was more than mine will be. I do get widows spousal support of about $500 a month.
    1. can I apply in May?
    2. will I loose widow benefits when I get SS?
    3. my pay still pays into my SS account. How much salary can I collect when getting full SS? I was told this was unlimited.
    4. how do I let SS know I would like to apply for my husbands SS amount ?

    • Hi Karen, thank you for using our blog to ask your questions. Once you reach your full retirement age, earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. To inquire about filing for retirement or widow’s benefits, to obtain a widow’s estimate and to make an appointment, call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  8. My husband is turning 65 in May. He applied for SS benefits when he retires on June 1st, 2020. He will have made over the $18,000 allowed for this year. Is that not effective the first year you retire? He looked on line and thought that he needs to retire now because he made too much money already. However 3 other people that retired last year said they made over the $18,000 before they retired and it did not affect them. Also they told him they have taxes taken out of their social security benefits. He thought that SS was not taxed.

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