What Happens If I File At Full Retirement Age And Keep Working?

Aug 18 2017 - 7:44am

Hello Larry,

I am 65, will turn 66 in September, am working, and have not filed to receive Social Security benefits. What happens if I (a) declare that I wish to receive Social Security benefits and (b) continue working? (I understood from one advisor that, at full retirement age, I could do that with no penalty or consequence; my wife understands that my benefits would be reduced if I continue to work.)
A related question: I actually have two jobs: one is a full-time job and the other is part-time. I would like to understand social security benefits relative to keeping one or both of those jobs.

Hi,

I don't know what you mean by 'my wife understands that my benefits would be reduced if I continue to work'. Your benefit amount won't be reduced if you continue working, and could instead increase if your earnings are higher than in any of your previous highest 35 years (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf).

In any case, you could start drawing your benefits at age 66 regardless of whether or not you continue working, or how many jobs you have, or how much you earn. You would then receive your full retirement age benefit rate, but if you instead waited until age 70 to start drawing your benefit rate would be 32% higher. You may also have other options depending on your wife's age and insured status. You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website in order to explore your options and determine your best filing strategy.

Best, Jerry