How Will Being Out Of Work Affect When And How Much I'll Receive In Benefits?

Mar 26 2018 - 12:47pm

My DOB is 10/17/1953. I have lost my job, but will get another job and continue to work until I can get the maximum Social Security benefit possible for me. I don't know how long it will take to get another job. How will being out of work effect the maximum amount I can receive and/or when I begin to receive that amount. Currently my SSA report says at age 70 I will received $3627 a month. I have purchased Get What's Yours, but was not able to find the answer in that yet.

Hi,

Being out of a job wouldn't affect when you could start drawing unless you intend to file for benefits prior to your full retirement age (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html). It could affect your benefit amount, though, since your benefit rate will be calculated based on your highest 35 years of wage-indexed earnings (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf). Therefore, if the estimated benefit amount shown on your Social Security statement includes future earnings that don't materialize due to losing your job, you may not end up receiving that much.

You don't mention whether or not you're married, but since you were born before 1954 it's possible that you could draw spousal benefits only at your full retirement age and then switch to your own benefits at age 70. Obviously you'd need to be married in order for that to be a possibility, and your spouse would need to be drawing his or her benefits in order for you to qualify for spousal benefits.

You should strongly consider using our maximization software to explore and compare your options. The software will allow you to enter future estimated earnings (if any) in order to gauge their effect on your benefit rate, as well as help you determine your best option with regard to claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry