Working while collecting Social Security – the “earnings test”

The “earnings test” is a Social Security rule which confounds numerous people who decide to claim their benefits before they stop working. Age 62 is the earliest you can claim Social Security benefits, but many people aren’t yet ready to retire from their career at that age. If you’re not familiar with the “earnings test,” you might find that claiming Social Security before you have reached your full retirement age means a reduction of benefits if your earnings exceed the limit. And it’s not so simple as a single limit for everyone – the limit changes each year, and it’s different depending upon your age and the proximity to your full Social Security retirement age. The net result is that people who claim Social Security early and continue working could end up having months of benefits withheld because they earned too much money. In this Motley Fool article by Matthew Frankel, the author explains all of the intricacies of Social Security’s earnings test, how you might be affected, and how you will get at least some of your withheld benefits returned to you later. Click here to read more.

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