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Ask Matthew Breecher Your Own Question
Matthew Breecher
Matthew Breecher, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 286
Experience:  Director
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I am 67 and considering retiring within 6 months. How much

Customer Question

I am 67 and considering retiring within 6 months. How much money can I make per year and still collect full social security?
JA: The Retirement Accountant will know how to help. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.
Customer: I have been asked by my current job to continue to help out now and then after I retire, as I have been here 28 years and know a great deal that is hard to impart to others. I want to collect my full social security amount and not have it reduced. AND I want to let the firm know what I will charge them for work and how much work I can actually do for them. The extra money would be great but I don't want to interfer with SS paymens
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Retirement Accountant should know?
Customer: My husband is also 67 and about to apply to collect social security. Although he doesn't plan on working.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Matthew Breecher replied 4 months ago.

Individually the limit is $16,920; jointly this goes to $32,000. After which, the penalty is about 50% of your social security wages up to a max of 85%. Also, this is only on "earned" wages from a W-2, your other income from any retirement savings or investments would not impact this. I would be happy to expand more if you like.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I don't think that is correct. If I read the Social Security Website correctly, it is $44,000 jointly IF you are under full retirement age. BUT if you full retirement age there is no cap. Can you verify?
Expert:  Matthew Breecher replied 4 months ago.

Per the SSA website:

Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, we will not reduce your benefits no matter how much you earn.

  • We use the following earnings limits to reduce your benefits: If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit.

For 2017 that limit is $16,920.

  • In the year you reach full retirement age, we deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit, but we only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age.
Expert:  Matthew Breecher replied 4 months ago.

If you will reach full retirement age in 2017, the limit on your earnings for the months before full retirement age is $44,880.

...

In the years after the year you retire, the amount is $16,920 individual and $32,000 (approx) jointly as a maximum of "earned wages" before they start reducing your Social Security. There is no limit on distributions from retirement plans (like a 401k or 403b) or passive income, like rent or royalties.

Expert:  Matthew Breecher replied 4 months ago.

Let me reread this a second.

Expert:  Matthew Breecher replied 4 months ago.

I apologize, as I misread the question. Because you are over 66, past full retirement age, there is no limit as you stated except for the months immediately preceding your application for benefits. I have been dealing with many people who are not at full retirement age yet and misapplied the facts.

Expert:  Matthew Breecher replied 4 months ago.

Let me know if I can research further and provide references.

Expert:  Matthew Breecher replied 4 months ago.

I hope I answered your question with sufficient detail, accuracy, and completeness based on the facts communicated. I would be happy to expand my answer should you need clarification, before you rate my response. If no additional information is needed, please rate my response, based on thoroughness and accuracy, rather than any good or bad news/content. We (the experts) are only compensated when an answer is accepted and rated with at least 3 stars; but my goal is your complete satisfaction and a 5 star rating. I appreciate your prompt response. Sincerely, ***** ***** Breecher, CPA.