Hello Larry thanks for what you do!
Question 1: I am now 62 years old and will turn 63 in January 2023, will my PIA amount be increased by COLA 8.7 % plus 5 % = 13.7 % total even though I have only earned 3 K dollars in 2022? I have not applied for benefits yet. Question 2: what does the sentence on social security statement mean "if you continue to work and earn X amount of dollars your benefit will be " does that mean I lose benefits by not working beyond 62 ? Does my current PIA get reduced? I already have my high 35 years worked .
Thanks so much it's so confusing!
Hi. Yes. Everyone born prior to January 2 1961 will have the upcoming 8.7% cost of living (COLA) increase added to their Social Security retirement benefit rate regardless of whether or not they are drawing benefits. The amount you earn in 2022 is irrelevant with regard to whether or not you're eligible for the COLA.
Your benefit rate won't go down if you stop working, it just won't go up. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings. So, additional years of earnings can potentially increase your benefit rate, but a lack of additional earnings can't reduce your benefit rate. However, if you're looking at a benefit estimate that assumes you'll have earnings in the future, then that estimate may be too high if those future earnings don't materialize.
It sounds like you should strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) both to get an accurate benefit estimate, and also to fully compare and analyze all of your filing options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.