Can You Give Me Some Advice?

Aug 19 2017 - 7:08am

I just recently turned 61 and 9 months (born in 11/1955) and filed for Social Security retirement benefits. I just recently found a job in February 2017 after 3 years of being UN-employed. However the pay is nowhere near what I used to make. I would make approximately $27,000 this year gross. This is a little over $10,000 above the 2017 earnings limit of $16,920. I need to work this relatively low-paying job to get free health insurance. My SS representative just told me that I should cancel my application because I would be heavily penalized for filing so early. However I could use extra money, no matter how much to make ends meet, pay bills and to be able to eat. So I am confused on what to do. I need some solid advice.

Hi,

When to start drawing benefits is a personal decision, but you should be aware that your permanent monthly benefit rate will likely be substantially lower if you start drawing at age 62 vs. full retirement age or age 70.
For example, a person with a full retirement age rate of $1600 would only get around $1200 starting at age 62, vs. around $2100 if he or she starts drawing at age 70. You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website to compare your filing options and determine your best strategy.

If you decide to go ahead with your application to start drawing at age 62, it sounds like your earnings would prevent you from drawing any benefits this year, and at least some of your benefits next year due to Social Security's earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html). The maximization software is programmed to handle earnings test considerations, so it should be able to help you determine the best time to claim benefits.

Best, Jerry