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How working after retirement affects Social Security

Published February 23, 2015

A growing number of people continue to work after retirement, some to supplement their income and some simply to stay active. Most retirees can continue to work without any negative effects on their Social Security benefits.

There is no reduction in Social Security benefits for those who continue to work, as long as they have reached full retirement age. For some, Social Security benefits may actually increase, because benefits are calculated using the highest 35 years of earning.

For people born between 1943 and 1955, full retirement age is 66 years old. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67 years old.

Taking Social Security benefits before reaching full retirement age and continuing to work can lead to a reduction in benefits. For those under retirement age for a full year, the Social Security Administration deducts $1 in benefits for every $2 earned above the annual limit of $15,720. For the year in which the individual reaches full retirement age, $1 is deducted for every $3 earned above an income limit of $41,880 in the months before the individual reaches full retirement age.

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