How Many Hours Can You Work While Receiving Social Security?
You can continue to work and collect Social Security payments for as long as you desire. However, you should be aware that working after filing for Social Security benefits may limit the amount you receive, especially if you have not yet reached full retirement age.
Working Before Reaching Full Retirement Age
According to the Social Security Administration, the full retirement age for persons born in 1960 or after is 67. If you continue to collect benefits before reaching full retirement age, the Social Security Administration considers you a worker rather than a retiree. As a result, certain of your advantages may be restricted.
The SSA will withhold $1 of your earnings for every $2 you earn above a set amount. The earnings cap for 2022 is $19,560. As a result, if you are under the age of 65 and earn $39,560 in 2022, your Social Security benefits will be lowered by $10,000.
The number of hours you can work while collecting Social Security is plainly determined by your hourly wage. If you make $20 per hour, for example, you can work 978 hours each year before your Social Security payments are lowered, provided you haven’t reached full retirement age.
At 40 hours per week, you can work for slightly over 24 weeks before reaching the earnings cap. If your pay is higher, the figure will be adjusted downward.
Working During Your Full Retirement Age
When you reach full retirement age, everything changes. As of 2022, the maximum amount you can earn before benefits are withheld is $51,960. In addition, payments are decreased by $1 for every $3 earned beyond the wage cap.
For example, if you earn $50,000 the year you reach full retirement age, your benefits will not be reduced in any way. Your annual benefit will be lowered by $3,000 if you earn $60,960. Take note that this decrease will expire the month you reach full retirement age.
Working Past the Age of Retirement
Working after full retirement age is not the definition of “retirement” for some people, but it can be a delight — or a must — for others.
Whatever your reasons are, the good news is that once you reach full retirement age, you will no longer face any penalty for working. Regardless of how many hours you work, you will be entitled to your full monthly Social Security income.
Even if you decide to work full-time or start a business, you will be able to keep your earnings and Social Security income.
You’ll Always Be Repaired
Losing Social Security payments because you may have to work might be a difficult decision. But the good news is that it’s not an either-or situation in the end.
If you lose Social Security payments because you work, they are never truly “lost,” but rather suspended. The SSA will always make you whole for any benefits that have been suspended.
When you reach full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your monthly payment and raise it to compensate for your deferred benefits.
What Constitutes Earnings?
There is one more method to “work” and receive all of your Social Security benefits when you anticipate them, rather than as postponed payments. Essentially, if all of your money is passive, you can make as much as you want without affecting your Social Security earnings.
Specifically, the SSA considers earnings to be income or salary from a job or net profit from self-employment. Investment income, pensions, veterans benefits, annuities, interest, and government or military benefits are not taken into account.