Ask Larry: Is It Possible to Collect Social Security Benefits While I’m Still Employed?
Social Security columnists address questions about taking Social Security benefits while working before full retirement age, the impact of foreign pensions on US Social Security benefits, and determining whether an ex has passed away in this week’s column. In addition to being a professor of economics at Boston University, Larry Kotlikoff also serves as the company’s founder and president.
Despite the Fact That I’m Still Employed, Am I Eligible for Social Security Benefits?
Larry, hello there! 🙂 I’m 65 years old, and I’m still employed. I’ve been told that I can begin collecting my Social Security benefits as soon as I decide to retire in the spring of 2015. In order to get an idea of how much money I’ll receive each month, how can I find out? Thanks, Tim
Tim, hello there! Social Security benefits are limited until you reach your full retirement age (FRA) in terms of how much you can earn. Social Security will withhold $1 of your benefits for every $2 you earn over $19,560 in 2022 if you don’t reach FRA by the end of the year.
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If you reach FRA in the year after that, you can earn more money without losing any benefits, and there is no upper limit to the amount of money you can make while still receiving all of your benefits.
If you were born in 1956, your FRA would be 66 months; if you were born in 1957, your FRA would be 66 months. It all depends on your month and year of birth, your salary, and your benefit rate, so whether or not you can work and still receive benefits depends on these factors. Your benefit rate would be permanently lowered for any months in which you receive benefits prior to reaching your FRA, even if your earnings allow for early benefit payments.
Earnings history influences your monthly benefit rate. The higher your Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings over the preceding 35 years, the higher your benefit rate will be when you retire on Social Security. In order to ensure that your family receives the highest possible lifetime benefits, you might want to use the software developed by my company, Maximize My Social Security or MaxiFi Planner. Non-profit or commercial Social Security calculators may provide accurate advice, provided that they were built with extreme care. Best, Larry
What Caused the Decline in My Social Security Benefit?
Larry, hello there! 🙂 After working and living in the US for ten years, I finally decided to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). I just turned 65, so I went ahead and applied for spousal benefits. As a result, I began receiving CPP benefits, and my U.S. Social Security benefit has been reduced by more than my Canadian benefits. Non-covered pensions are defined by Social Security. Why? Thanks, Ariana
How are you? It appears that the Windfall Elimination Provision is to blame for the decrease in your benefit rate (WEP). Those who receive a pension based on earnings that were not taxed in the United States are affected by the WEP provision, which lowers their Social Security retirement or disability (SSDI) benefit rate.
A Canadian pension earned while working in Canada may reduce your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit rate.
In the event that your US benefit rate is reduced by more than 50% of the gross amount of your non-covered pension, you have a WEP guarantee provision to protect you. An appeal may be necessary if you believe your benefit rate is incorrect, but I don’t have enough information to know for sure. Best, Larry
Is There a Way to Tell if My Ex Has Died?
Larry, hello there! 🙂 I don’t mean to be impolite, but how can I tell if my ex-boyfriend has died? Social Security was supposed to tell me. I have his full name, date of birth, and social security number on hand. It’s possible that Social Security does not know if an ex-spouse has passed away, which is why Larry says I should notify them in getting What’s Yours (revised edition).
I am 67 and my ex-husband is 65; we were married for 13 years. We have no children together. It’s been over two decades since my ex and I divorced, and I’ve never remarried. Because we don’t have any children or mutual friends, we don’t have any way of keeping in touch. To maximize my benefits, I would benefit greatly from knowing if I am eligible for divorced survivor’s benefits.
If for some reason Social Security does not have any information regarding the passing of a member of its database, the privacy act may bar Social Security from disclosing that information to anyone other than the deceased member themselves.
This means you can’t always rely on Social Security to inform you about the death of a former partner or romantic partner of yours. In most cases, Social Security should be able to tell you whether or not your ex is still alive or deceased when you’re applying for benefits based on their record.
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