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Regular Contributor

Clarity on working after applying for social security

I get conflicting answers whenever I contact SS on most anything.    I turn 62 in mid September.    I have decided for my situation based on family medical history it is best to file early at 62.   I work as a consultant from time to time.   


As I read the rules  I must be 62 for an entire month before the first check would arrive.    This means SS does not start paying in my case until November.      I have the opportunity to work all of September and 1/2 of October.    Total earnings perhaps $20K  .   There have been no other earnings in 2019 so I'm not close to any earning thresholds to my knowledge.   


If this is addressed on the SS web site I can not seem to find it. 


What is the rule?   

I can not earn any wages at all in my filing month regardless of birthdate? 

I can earn wages up to September 15th when I officialy hit 62?     

I can earn wages all of September but must not earn more then $1470 a month afterwards? 

I can earn wages in September and October for a full month in excess of the $1470 cap as I have not been officially paid.  



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Honored Social Butterfly

This Social Security publication should answer your questions and it gives some examples.  Being under FRA, the annualized earnings might be a better measure than figuring it on a monthly basis, especially since your earnings don't sound like they are a set amount on a monthly basis.  It also sounds like the earnings would be reported as 1099 earnings rather than W2 earning.


If you make 20K anytime during 2019, this figure is higher than the annualized threshold and your benefits will be reduced since you are less than FRA.


Social - 2019 Working While Receiving Old Age SS Benefits


The earnings figure threshold changes yearly so for those who retire at an early date and continue to work, it pays to note the current year threshold amount.


I came back to edit since this is your 1st year of getting benefits at the age of 62 - there is a special rule for the 1st year and it is covered in the linked pamphlet.

Special rule for the first year you retire - Sometimes people who retire in mid-year already have earned more than the annual earnings limit. That’s why there is a special rule that applies to earnings for one year, usually the first year of retirement. Under this rule, you can get a full Social Security check for any whole month you’re retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.


For example, John Smith retires at age 62 on October 30, 2019. He will earn $45,000 through October. He takes a part-time job beginning in November earning $500 per month. Although his earnings for the year substantially exceed the 2019 annual limit ($17,640), he will receive a Social Security payment for November and December. This is because his earnings in those months are $1,470 or less, the monthly limit for people younger than full retirement age. If Mr. Smith earns more than $1,470 in either November or December, he won’t receive a benefit for that month. Beginning in 2020, only the annual limit will apply to him.


Hope this answers your question.  



It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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