Can I Collect Social Security Benefits and Continue Working?

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Can I Collect Social Security Benefits and Continue Working? - Uber Finance

Can You Collect Social Security Benefits and Continue Working?

As retirement approaches, many individuals are faced with the question of whether they can collect Social Security benefits and continue working. This is an important topic to understand, as it can have a significant impact on your financial security during retirement. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of Social Security benefits, as well as the rules and regulations for collecting benefits while continuing to work.

Understanding the Impact of Your Full Retirement Age

Before we dive into the rules for collecting benefits and working, it's important to understand the concept of Full Retirement Age (FRA). FRA is the age at which you become eligible to receive full Social Security retirement benefits. The exact age varies depending on the year you were born. For example, if you were born in 1960 or later, your FRA is 67.

The impact of FRA on your benefit payments is significant. If you choose to collect benefits before reaching your FRA, your monthly benefit amount will be reduced. On the other hand, if you wait until after your FRA to collect benefits, your monthly benefit amount will be increased. It's important to consider your FRA when deciding when to start collecting benefits, as it can have a long-term impact on your financial security.

Determining Your Retirement Earnings Test Limit

The Retirement Earnings Test (RET) is a rule that applies to individuals who collect Social Security benefits before reaching their FRA and continue to work. The RET determines how much you can earn from work before your benefits are reduced. The limit is based on your age and changes each year.

To calculate your RET limit, you need to know your FRA and your annual earnings. If you are under your FRA for the entire year, the limit is $18,960 in 2021. For every $2 you earn above this limit, $1 will be withheld from your benefits. If you reach your FRA during the year, the limit is $50,520 in 2021. For every $3 you earn above this limit, $1 will be withheld from your benefits. Once you reach your FRA, there is no limit on your earnings and your benefits will not be reduced.

Understanding the Implications of Working and Collecting Benefits

Working while collecting Social Security benefits can have both financial and tax implications. It's important to understand these implications and how they can impact your overall financial security.

Firstly, the impact of working while collecting benefits depends on your age. If you are under your FRA for the entire year, your benefits will be reduced if you earn above the RET limit. However, this reduction is not permanent. Once you reach your FRA, your benefits will be recalculated to account for the months in which benefits were withheld due to your earnings.

Secondly, it's important to consider the tax implications of working and collecting benefits. Depending on your total income, a portion of your Social Security benefits may be subject to federal income tax. This can further reduce your overall income during retirement.

To balance earned income with Social Security benefits, it's important to carefully consider your financial situation and goals. For example, if you are nearing your FRA and plan to continue working, it may be beneficial to delay collecting benefits until after your FRA. This can result in a higher monthly benefit amount and reduce the impact of the RET limit on your benefits.


Understanding the rules and implications of collecting Social Security benefits while continuing to work is crucial for a financially secure retirement. By understanding your Full Retirement Age, calculating your Retirement Earnings Test limit, and considering the impact of working on your benefits, you can make informed decisions that maximize your financial security.

For additional information and resources on Social Security benefits and retirement planning, we recommend visiting the official Social Security Administration website or consulting with a financial advisor. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation and help you navigate the complexities of working and collecting benefits.

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