Can I Work and Collect Social Security? -

Can I Work and Collect Social Security?

Absolutely! Working helps keep you motivated, stimulated and involved.  But, there are some things to consider. If you plan on working, you may want to think about waiting to apply for Social Security benefits until Full Retirement Age, because before that there is a limit to how much you can earn per year without penalty.

If you are collecting benefits and have not reached Full Retirement Age, there is a $15,480 maximum to your earnings. For every $2 you earn above that, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefits. That is half of your earnings.

Many people plan to continue to work and stay under that amount. If you plan on making more, you may want to wait to apply for SS until a later time. Remember too that by applying early your payment amount will be permanently reduced as much as 30 percent.

Some financial planners think that more money is more money, and if you can collect and work at the same time, why not? But it is hard to think about working for half pay. The $1 is not deducted from your check as the penalty occurs. It is calculated and withheld in one lump sum. Therefore, you may have several checks held in a row and must plan for that.

The average Social Security payment for 2014 is $1,294. That’s $15,528 per year. You can double that by working up to the max of $15,480.

Once you reach Full Retirement Age, there is no limit to how much you can earn while collecting benefits.

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