How Much Will My Social Security Rate Increase If I Work Until Age 70?

Feb 15 2017 - 6:45am

I just finished reading your book on social security. Page 112 on the Social security calculators - which one will tell me, if I claim at FRA my benefits BUT keep working until age 69, HOW MUCH my social security amount will increase (I do know what my wages will be from age 66-69. Or does your calculator do that? 2nd question, my husband went on social security disability (SSDI) at age 60. He is now age 66 (his FRA). His social security amount is a lot higher than mine. If he dies before me, will I get hit with a reduced amount of his SS benefit for my Widow benefits because he took it at age 60. Your book does not address this - it just address if my husband took his SS at age 62 and NOT on disability. Page 261 number 2 - it confuses me. I was born 6/1951so I am grandparented to do the restricted application, BUT not the file and suspend application.

Thanks!

Hi,

If you continue working past age 66, your benefit rate may or may not increase as a result of your earnings. Social Security retirement benefits are calculated based on your highest 35 years of wage-adjusted earnings (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf), and can be recalculated after each year in which you earn more than one of your previous highest 35 years.

Benefits can also increase as a result of delayed retirement credits (DRC), which add 8% to your retirement benefit rate for each year you defer taking benefits from full retirement age (FRA) until age 70. DRC increases are completely separate from the increases caused by additional earnings, and can be accrued whether you work or not.

You may want to consider using the maximization software available on this website. The software will account for both DRC increases as well as recomputations to include your future expected earnings, so that would be the best way for you to do your planning. It sounds like your best strategy may be to file for spousal benefits only at age 66 and then switch to your own record at age 70, but the software will tell you for sure.

If your husband dies before you, you will receive the higher of his full benefit rate or your own, but not both. The fact that he received disability benefits prior to his full retirement age would not affect your widow's rate.

Best, Jerry