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Ask Megan C Your Own Question
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16576
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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Last year, my husband had lost his job and couldnt find another

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Last year, my husband had lost his job and couldn't find another one. He was old enough (62) so he applied for benefits and received them for one year. Meanwhile, he found a job so he called Social Security and told them to stop the benefit payments because he would be making about $100k per year. They sent us a bill for an "overpayment" and we paid off that amount, but did not pay back any of the other payments we had collected for the year he couldn't find a job. My question is:

Since he's working again and paying into the program again, how does this affect his benefit amount. We went to the office to ask and have gotten three different answers to this question.

MyVirtualCPA :

I realize you have a question about social security. My goal is to help you better understand your options.

MyVirtualCPA :

How are you today?

MyVirtualCPA :

I'm glad to hear that your husband has found work again in this economy.

MyVirtualCPA :

When you suspend your social security benefits, and continue to work, your benefit will increase

MyVirtualCPA :

Your benefit is based on your highest 35 years of earnings, so if this is one of the higher year of earnings, it will be used to determine his retirement amount.

Customer:

Actually, he's making less than before he lost his job. This is a commission-only job and he loves it. Will probably earn a little more than $100,000 this year (made $97,000 last year). So he's contributing funds to the SSA with each paycheck. But we're confused. On one of the phone calls, they said he would still only receive the $1895 per month no matter what he contributes from now on and no matter for how long. Another phone call brought the response that after awhile, it would be like he had never collected. And the third response was so confusing, neither of us really understood it.

MyVirtualCPA :

I understand. Your benefits are based on your highest 35 years of earnings

MyVirtualCPA :

So, if this is one of the top 35 years, his benefit will go up. Likewise, his benefit will increase from his previous amount because he is once again delaying retirement

MyVirtualCPA :

So, when he does retire at 66 his benefit will most certainly be more than $1,895 although I could not tell you by how much.

Customer:

He is planning to work until he's around 70 (if no health issues) so your answer is that you think he will eventually get a higher benefit amount if he works for 6 more years?

MyVirtualCPA :

yes, he most certainly will.

MyVirtualCPA :

because of delayed retirement credits and the fact that he's still working. Although this may not be his top year of earnings, I'll bet it's higher than some of his other years from early in his career

Customer:

Yes, it is. Of course, when he was just starting out in the business, he often made around $80,000 or so. I don't think he broke into $100k and above until probably 20 years ago. The year he lost his job, he made $173,000 and the only other year that was higher than that was one year when he made about $238,000. But the average would be around $145,000 or $150,000 I suppose.

MyVirtualCPA :

Yes, so it should help you accrue more benefits

Customer:

Thank you so much for your very detailed answer. I will certainly rate you as excellent so you get credit for this answer. Thank you again.

MyVirtualCPA :

You're welcome. Please come back if you need any additional assistance

MyVirtualCPA :

It was a pleasure working with you, and you have a great day

Megan C and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you