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Barbara, Enrolled Agent
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 7623
Experience:  20+ years of experience in tax preparation; 30+ years of experience as a real estate/corporate paralegal.
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How are social security benefits calculated? Currently, my

Customer Question

how are social security benefits calculated? Currently, my earnings have been high and my benefit will be high (I just turned 65 in February but have not collected yet. If I continue to work part time and my income decreases over the next 2-3 years, will my ultimate benefit decrease? I don't want to wait to collect if a few years of inactivity will derease the benefit at age 0
JA: These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits properly. Is there anything else important you think the Retirement Accountant should know?
Customer: Also
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
also I was born on February 28, 1953. am I still eligible for the 1/2 spousal benefit when I turn 66 (full retirement age)? I understand that benefit has been eliminated for some.
Expert:  Barbara replied 7 months ago.

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

Social Security calculates your benefit amount based on your 35 HIGHEST EARNING YEARS.

You may be entitled to UP TO 1/2 of your spouse's benefit, but not both yours and your spouses.

Social Security will pay you the amount that is equal to the highest benefit amount.

Please let me know if I can assist you further.

Thank you and best regards,


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
if you do not work from 66-70 and wait to collect, you will have 4 years of 0 earnings that might decrease your benefit?
Also, please confirm that since I turned 65 before December 31, 2015, I am eligible for 1/2 of the spousal benefit at 66.
Thanks for your quick response
Expert:  Barbara replied 7 months ago.

Not necessarily. As I mentioned your 35 HIGHEST EARNING YEARS are used.

You MAY BE eligible for up to 50% of the spousal benefit amount.