Will The Money I Earn Prior To Retiring Count Toward Social Security's Earnings Test?

Mar 21 2017 - 6:15am

Larry, I'm 65 my DOB is 01/12/52 I'm planning to retire & file for Social Security on June 30th that will be 6 months before my full retirement age. I'll have made 25,000 by then. I know my monthly benefit amount will be reduced because I retired 6 mo. early, but will the 25,000 I will have made before filing reduce my benefit amount for the last 6 months of the year? and how will the SSA know that I made this before filling? and could I possibly work part time after filing and not affect my benefit amount? Thanks and your column is a great help!


Yes, your earnings for the entire calendar year count toward Social Security's annual earnings test, but there is a separate monthly test that can be used in the first year of benefit entitlement (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/rule.html). The monthly earnings test would allow you to be paid benefits for any month in which you earn $1,410 or less this year, regardless of how much you earn in the calendar year.

Before filing, you may want to strongly consider running the maximization software available on this website. You may have other, better filing options available to you.

Best, Jerry