What Will The Online Application Ask Me About My Plans To Continue Working?

Jan 9 2019 - 7:05am

I will be at full retirement age next month (February, 2019). I have not yet applied for social security but I plan to apply online soon. I am self-employed and plan to keep working after retirement. Because I need to anticipate what the online application form will ask me regarding my plan to continue working beyond full retirement age, can anybody explain what the online form will require as it pertains to my plan to continue working (questions, documents, etc)?


You might want to watch the following online application demo on Social Security's website before starting your application: https://www.ssa.gov/onlineservices/planners/Online_Application/oa.htm.

Regarding work, you'll basically be asked if you worked last year and if you expect to work this year (and possibly next year if you file late in a year). If yes, you'll be asked to enter the amounts that you earned last year and the amount that you expect to earn this year. You'll also be asked if you expect to earn more than $3910 ($1470 if you weren't reaching full retirement age this year) or perform substantial services in self-employment in all months. Substantial services is normally defined by Social Security as more than 45 hours of time in a month devoted to a trade or business.

However, none of that will be relevant to you if you're filing to start your benefits at full retirement age (FRA) or later. Once you reach FRA, you can draw your Social Security benefits regardless of how much you work and earn. Before filing, though, you may want to consider using our software to explore and compare all of your filing options so that you can choose the best possible strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry