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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37854
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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hi i have worked through age 54. i was a high income earner

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hi i have worked through age 54. i was a high income earner for 20 years. i am now semi retired and earn about 30,000.
will my social security benefits be lowered because i am earning so much less.

Good afternoon Shelly,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

While your benefits will be somewhat lower, because social security determines your retirement benefit based on your highest 35 years of earning, and once you have made so much money during your life the benefit paid on your additional earnings is dramatically decreased---the fact that the last 10 years of your working live you have a decreased income will in all likelihood not make all that much of a difference.

As an example, if you worked most of your life as a high income earner, and only have the last 10 years at $30,000---your actual retirement benefit will probably drop no more than about $250.00 per month. The top social security benefit that high earners can take home now is about $2500 per month---so your loss for the 10 years of decreased income may amount to only about 10% of the total. And in fact, you can make up for the 10% loss by retiring at full retirement age plus 15 months---because for each year you delay after full retirement age, your benefit increases by 8%--or 2/3 of 1% for each additional month of waiting.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,


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