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My question is simple...

My question is simple but I have received several answers and do not know what to do. Today, I turned 65, I have been working since age 15. I want to continue to work and I was told I can and also collect my benefits now. However when I went to apply they told me if I started to collect my benefits in Jan 2018 I would be penalized for six months, another person told me forever and this last vist two days ago. I was told that since I only make about 37,000 a year there is no penalty. What is right?

Accountant's Assistant: These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits propertly. Is there anything else important you think the Retirement Accountant should know?

I am trying to start my SS benefits, I turned 65 today. I want to continue to work but still collect my benefits. I don't need the medical since my employer provides insurance. However I make less that 38,000 a year and I was told as long as I started my claim in Jan 2018 that was fine. But then I went back to the SSI office and a clerk there told me I would b e penalized for 6 months if I opened a claim. I left to think it over and went back and now was told I would be penalized for the rest of my life. At this point I don't know what to do that didn't make sense and today I called the office and spoke to someone who again told me I could start my benefits in Jan 2018 with no penalties since the new scale said a retiree can earn upto $40,000 a year. What is correct? I have two days left to apply.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Social Security
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
12/5/2017
Social Security Expert: Barbara, Enrolled Agent replied 7 months ago
Barbara
Barbara, Enrolled Agent
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 6,393
Experience: 20+ years of experience in tax preparation; 30+ years of experience as a real estate/corporate paralegal.
Verified

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you.

Happy Birthday!

I understand how what you have been told is confusing, and I will try to explain it so you will understand what people have been trying to tell you.

Because you were born in 1952 (if you are 65 today), your FULL RETIREMENT AGE is 66, which is the age at which you can receive 100% of your Social Security benefit amount without any "penalty" for continuing to work and/or permanent reduction in monthly benefit amount. Social Security rules state that if you are under full retirement age, which you are, you can earn up to a certain limit.

I am using 2017 amounts as an example because 2018 amounts are not yet available.

If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, Social Security will 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, which will be 2018 for you, Social Security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit, but Social Security will only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age.

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

Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you can get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.

https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/article/3739/what-happens-if-i-work-and-get-social-security-retirement-benefits

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/1943.html

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you and best regards,

Barb

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Category: Social Security
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