Items that Affect My Social Security Benefits

Working

If you are receiving benefits and are under full retirement age, some of your benefits may be withheld if you work.  The maximum amount you can earn before benefits are withheld is called the earning test and is adjusted for inflation each year. 

When you reach full retirement age, you're benefit is recalculated to leave out the months in which benefits were withheld.  Deciding to apply for early benefits if you plan to work is important in retirement planning because even though your benefit would be recalculated, you would still end up with a lower benefit than if you had waited until full retirement age to apply.

After you reach retirement age, you can earn any amount from working and no benefits will be withheld.  However there is a very special rule when you reach age 66 which, when we meet with you one-on-one, we will be more than happy to discuss with you.

Peter Madine - Financial Consultation
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  Below are other things that may have an affect your Social Security:
 dividerline   Items that Effect Your Social Security 
 

Pension Income

If you receive pension from a former employer, your Social Security benefits are not affected as long as you contributed to Social Security under that job.  Other retirement income, such as distrobutions from 401(k) plans and IRAs, aso do not affect Social Security benefits.

Divorce

You can receive spousal benefits based on your ex-spouse's work record if the marriage lasted at least 10 years and you are currently unmarried.  You may apply as early as age 62, but the actuarial reduction will apply.  If you and your spouse have been divorced for at least two years, he does not need to apply for his benefits in order for you to receive yours.  (He does need to be eligible for benefits and be at least age 62.)  You do not need to know his earnings history or even his whereabouts.  All you have to do is present proof that you were married and give enough identifying information so that the Social Security Administration can look up his records.

Widowhood

If your spouse dies, you can apply for survivor benefits as early as age 60 (or 50 if you are disabled).  If your spouse is receiving benefits when he dies, the survivor benefit will equal 100% of your spouse's benefit.  However, it will be subject to the actuarial reduction if you apply before you turn 66.  If your own benefit is higher, you may receive that amount (but not both).  If you are both receiving Social Security when your spouse dies, then the deceased spouse's benefit will stop.  You can, however, switch over to your survivor benefit if it's higher.