The Best Years Of Your Life

For most, the month of January is New Year’s resolutions month. But for some, it’s ‘I Kicked My Full-Time Gig To The Curb and Am Now Retired Month.’  So of course, throughout the month of January, I’ll provide a number of retirement tips for those retiring and applying for their Social Security Retirement Benefits in 2019. To kick off our retirement series, this week’s tips are geared towards those who are under the age of 66 and filing for Social Security retirement in 2019.

Tip Number One:  You should be aware that when you are receiving benefits earlier than your full retirement age, and for most people receiving benefits right now, full retirement age is 66 or 66 years and a few months old…and climbing, you are subject to an earnings limit. What does that mean? If you intend to continue working, you are limited on how much you can earn and still receive your benefits each month. In 2019, the earnings limit for a someone under full retirement age (see chart above) is $17,640. So, if you’re working, even if it’s part – time, and you’re working outside of the limit established, you may not be payable. So be mindful of that, and carefully weigh your options before deciding if early retirement is right for you. And that brings me to…

Tip Number Two: Even if you aren’t working when you initially file for early retirement with Social Security, if you later get a job, you definitely want to make sure you timely report the changes to your work activity. It doesn’t matter if you quit your full-time gig where you were making six figures are significantly more, and now you just have a part – time gig at Target. You’re still subject to an earnings limit. So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that working a “full – time” vs. “part – time” job will make a difference.  Changes to your work activity may still potentially affect your entitlement.

Tip Number Three: Last but certainly not least, your benefits are reduced for age. What does that mean? When you begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, you will receive a reduced benefit. The further you are from your full retirement, the bigger the reduction. And Yes, the reduction is permanent. And No, it does not go back to the full rate when you reach your full retirement age. In fact, absence special circumstances, or credits you may receive due to additional work, your benefits will remain unchanged. The only increases that you might expect to receive, which are not even guaranteed every year, are those you may receive due to a cost of living adjustment. (COLA).

Retirement is supposed to be a season where you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, but it can also be scary. It can be confusing. It can be complicated. You’re not alone. We got you covered! Check us out next week for tips geared towards those who’ve reached full retirement age.

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