That’s PART-time — not the 40-hrs-or-more-a-week you used to put in as a working stiff. Just one or two days a week will not only add to your income, but done with care, won’t affect your Social Security benefits at all.
It all starts with determining retirement age…which depends on the year you were born. What’s full retirement age for you? Check this handy chart. But for purposes of illustration, this article will use “Fred,” a 58-year-old born in 1954. Fred can start collecting Social Security when he’s 62 — but his monthly benefit amount will be reduced:
- at age 62, he’ll get 75% of the monthly benefit
- at age 65, he’ll get 93.3% of the monthly benefit
But what if he’s putting in a few days of work a week, while he’s collecting early retirement? It won’t affect his Social Security benefits at all, provided he stays under $14,640 a year — a little more than $1000 monthly. Any higher, and Social Security will deduct $1 from the benefits check for each $2 earned.
The nicest part of all: if Fred can hold off collecting benefits until full retirement age (in his case, 66 years old), he can work as much as he wants — and still keep his full Social Security benefit.
This can get a little confusing — which is why Social Security has a long and comprehensive page full of Q&A on the subject. Some examples, too. (AARP also has a helpful site.) And there are some picky details worth noting. For example, if you’re working for wages, the money is counted when you earn it — not when you’re paid. If you’re self-employed, though, you only count the money when you actually receive it. Do your homework, and study the options before you make any final decisions.