Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
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Your benefits are calculated based on your highest 35 years of earnings, not your last 35 years of work. So if you have 20 years at the maximum rate, the remaining 15 will come from the years in which you earned the next-highest amounts.
SO a few months or years of lower wages will not reduce your benefits,
What will reduce your wages is if you take social security before your full retirement age, which in most cases will be age 66,
So if you take benefits at age 62, you would face a 30% early penalty, so your benefits would be reduced 30%
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