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Am I Eligible To Start Taking Social Security Benefits At My Age?

Hello Mr. Kotlikoff,

I am 63 years of age, born June 8, 1958. I am about to loose my job on November 7, 2021 because of a mandate.
Finding another job outside of healthcare will be difficult, but not impossible. It will take some time. So my question is am I eligible to start taking social security "benefits" ? at my age ? I realize the earlier one starts the less one gets per month. If so, what do I need to learn about maximizing the minimum amount I would get per month ? If I can apply for and starting receiving SS income, and I find another job what happens to the SS money ?


Hi Scott. Yes, you're old enough to qualify for reduced Social Security benefits, and you could be paid for any month this year in which you earn no more than $1580 ( If you start drawing benefits and then start a new job you would need to notify Social Security if your earnings are high enough to require your benefits to be suspended. Starting next year you would need to keep your earnings below the annual earnings test exempt amount or lose $1 of your benefits for each $2 that you exceed the limit. However, there's no limit on the amount that you are allowed to earn once you reach your full retirement age (FRA) of 66 & 8 months.

The downside of starting benefits early is that your monthly benefit rate will be permanently lowered for any months that you're paid benefits prior to FRA. That could also lower your spouse's potential survivor benefit if you're married. Your monthly benefit rate could be adjusted upward at FRA, though, if you return to work and if some of your benefits are withheld due to the earnings test.

You should strongly consider using our software ( to fully explore all of your options so that you can determine the best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Oct 4 2021 - 7:15am
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