Because of a prior rule on limitations in social security benefits based on age of starting benefits, some people still think there are limits on how much you can earn and still collect all of the social security retirement income to which you are entitled. That is still true for people who opt to take social security before full retirement age. However, those working after full retirement can have unlimited amounts of earned income and still collect their full social security retirement benefit. Here’s the rule and then let’s look at an example.
If you are under full retirement age when you start getting your Social Security retirement payments, $1 in social security benefits will be deducted for each $2 you earn above $12,960 (for 2007). In the calendar year you attain full social security retirement age, $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $3 you earn above $34,440 (for 2007) up to the month of full retirement age attainment.
Mrs. Smith, age 62 in March of 2007, decides to retire from employment and start her reduced social security retirement benefits at the rate of $12,000 annually ($1,000 per month). She also decides to start a business. By age 63, her business is earning a net profit of $20,000 annually. She will need to give up $3,520 of her annual social security retirement income for this reason: During those months before you reach full retirement age (age 66 for someone born in 1945 like Mrs. Smith), your social security benefits are reduced $1 for each $2 you earn over $12,960 (for 2007).
Mrs. Smith keeps working at her business and by 2011, the year she reached full retirement age, her business is earning $40,000 annually. For January and February of 2011, she must give up $309 of social security ($1 for every $3 her business earns over $34,440 in the year she reaches full social security retirement age) and once March 2011 arrives and she becomes 66, she can earn unlimited amounts from her business and will never give up any social security income.
For the test above, earnings include bonuses, commissions and vacation pay, but don't include pensions, annuities, investment income, interest, veterans or other government or military retirement benefits.
Maximize Your Social Security Income
Get the one-page social security Cheat SheetYou may think that the folks at the Social Security office will tell you how to get the biggest monthly check. In fact, the federal rules PREVENT them from advising you. There are millions of people who have given up more than $50,000 just by making a simple yet incorrect method of taking their Social Security benefits. Don’t let that be you! Get your free copy now.
at what age can your retire and return to work and make whatever with our being penalized
the questions does not make sense so I will assume you mean "at what age can you earn all you want and not have any deduction in your social security benefits." The answer is at full retirement age which is 66 for most people.
If I decide not to collect Social Security at age 62 , can i Earn whatever i want.?
Linda Brindle says
i will be 66 in dec can i make unlimited amount and not be deducted from my ss check
once you turn 66 in December, the answer is yes. Prior to that, if receiving social security benefits, then earned income OVER $34,000 will reduce your social security benefits.
christine ford says
i collected widows benefits at 62 not i will be 66 in jan. 2013 is widows the same as retirement social security whats the diffference why didn't i get a check every month as a widow thats not fair. will i get a full check every month at 66 in january though my birthday is in May? how do i know they are giving me the right amount? IF I QUIT WORK CAN I GET MORE SOCIAL SECURITY? I AM SICK OF FULL TIME WORK. THIS IS SO CONFUSING.
You can get a face to face meeting at your local social security office and they will give you the straight story on what you can get. I visited mine recently and they are surprisingly efficient. Plan to wait an hour.
Billy Neal says
I am now 70 years old and have been receiving SS benefits since 66 & 10 month of age. I worked thru 2011 and would like to return back to the work force. How much may I earn and still receive my full social security payment?
no limit, earn as much as you like
Irene B. says
I have been getting retirement benefit and once I started to received Widowed Social Security Benefit. I don't receive my retirement benefit no more. Why is that?
ask the people at social security
sam erwing says
My wife is 78 and gets full social security. I do not get social security, I am under age but I do get a military retirement check. I work and make 75,000 year. We file jointly, is all the money we make taxible?
social security income is only partly taxable based on the schedule in this post
jack deo says
what happens to Mrs. benefits if she make $45,000 in her business at age 63, does she suspend her benefits or collect up to a certain limit and then it stops
for every $2 in income over the threshold ($15,120 in 2013), she loses $1 of social security benefits. Once full retirement age (66), then there is no loss.