Can I Start Drawing Benefits In January Of The Year I Turn 66 Without Any Earnings Restrictions?

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Feb 24 2017 - 6:30am

I turn age 65 this year and work part-time. My thoughts were to file for my social security benefits to begin in January, 2018 (as I will be fra 66 later in 2018). When I file my 2018 tax return because I started receiving benefits in 2018 which is my full retirement age year, there would not be any restriction on the amount of income I earn to reduce the social security benefits received. Is my thought process correct on this strategy or would I actually need to wait until I turn 66 later in 2018 to start drawing benefits to avoid any reduction due to work income. Thanks!

Hi,

There would be a limit on the amount you could earn in the months prior to the month you reach age 66, but not after that. The exempt amount for those reaching full retirement age in 2017 is $44,880 (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

For example, if you turn 66 in July and work for wages, you could earn up to $44,880 in the months January through June, and any amount starting with July. If you're self-employed, net earnings for the year are prorated, so you could have a net profit of $89,760 for the year without being considered to have earned more than $44,880 in the first 6 months of the year. If you earn more than the exempt amount, Social Security will withhold $1 of your benefits for each $3 of excess earnings.

Best, Jerry