Ask Larry

Can I Collect Benefits Now While I'm Still Working?

Hi Larry,I am 65 yrs old and still work.Someone told me I could collect my social security benefits now I want to retire next year how much will I get a month and can I collect now or wait until I retire?

Hi, Until you reach your full retirement age (FRA) there is a limit on how much you can earn and still be able to collect all of your Social Security benefits. Unless you reach FRA before the end of this year, Social Security would need to withhold $1 of your benefits for each $2 that you earn in excess of $18,960 in 2021. However, in the year you reach FRA you can earn more without losing any benefits, and there's no limit on how much you can earn and still be paid all of your benefits starting with the month you reach FRA (

Your FRA would be age 66 & 2 months if you were born in 1955, or 66 & 4 months if you were born in 1956. So, whether or not you could work and still be paid benefits depends on your month and year of birth, how much you're earning, and your benefit rate. Even if your earnings permit you to start collecting benefits before your FRA, though, your benefit rate would be permanently reduced for age for any months that you're paid benefits prior to FRA.

Your monthly benefit rate depends on your earnings history. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings, and the higher than average is the higher your benefit rate. You may want to strongly consider using our software ( to get an accurate estimate of your benefit rate and to fully analyze the filing options available to you in order to determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Sep 9 2021 - 7:24pm
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