Earnings Test

Will The Money I Earn Prior To Retiring Count Toward Social Security's Earnings Test?

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Larry, I'm 65 my DOB is 01/12/52 I'm planning to retire & file for Social Security on June 30th that will be 6 months before my full retirement age. I'll have made 25,000 by then. I know my monthly benefit amount will be reduced because I retired 6 mo. early, but will the 25,000 I will have made before filing reduce my benefit amount for the last 6 months of the year? and how will the SSA know that I made this before filling? and could I possibly work part time after filing and not affect my benefit amount? Thanks and your column is a great help!

Hi,

What Is The Income Restriction Based On?

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as a widow of non retirement age, what is income restrictions based on... a W-2 or my tax return?

Hi,

I assume that you are referring to the Social Security earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html). If so, countable earnings include gross wages from W-2 forms and/or net earnings from self-employment as reported on Schedule SE of a person's tax return.

Best, Jerry

Can I Report My Self-Employment Income In My Wife's Name?

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I'm a self employed farmer,about to turn 62. My wife is seven years younger and doesn't work off the farm. If I take my Social Security this year at age 62,can we sell commodities in the wife's name,continue to file a joint tax return,and not have to pay a penalty on my Social Security? If so,would we have to buy inputs in her name also? Could we farm under her name (income and expenses) and not have to pay a penalty if we filed joint or as "Married,filing separate"?

Hi,

Is The Earnings Test Being Correctly Applied In My Case?

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After burning out as an adjunct college professor some years ago, I took an unofficial early retirement and relocated to Costa Rica, where I reasoned (correctly) that I could live in modest comfort by drawing down my small retirement savings until I'm eligible for Social Security benefits at 62.

Well, 62 is around the corner (and my savings nearly depleted) so I have applied for Social Security, only to be shocked to be told by the clerk evaluating my claim that I risk having my benefits denied until I reach full retirement age.

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

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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!

How Is The Monthly Earnings Test Applied?

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I turned 62 in October of 2016. If I file for Social Security benefits in July of 2017 I know the annual earnings max of $16920 does not apply for the first year, just the monthly max of $1410 does, but how does SSA know what I've earned each month after I apply when my employer only reports a total for the year? What if my income fluctuates, say $800 in August of 2017 and then 1600 in September? I can't find anything on line that is specific to that question. Thanks for your help!

Hi,