How to Work While Feeding Social Security


    Tyler Olson /

    Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

    “Retirement”, as it is simply said, brings a lot of weight and baggage with it.

    Now that retirement is on your mind and you’re thinking of quitting your job, ask yourself:

    • Will my retirement income and social security cover my preferred lifestyle?
    • What do I do with myself every day?

    One answer answers both questions. You can retire, collect social security, still work and be productive. The trick is that there is a limit to how much you can make based on your age.

    When you reach full retirement age, you can get and keep your full Social Security benefits and make as much money as you want.

    If you have not reached full retirement age but are receiving Social Security benefits, you can earn up to $ 18,960 per year with no penalty. That’s $ 1,580 a month or $ 364 a week.

    We’ll go into more detail later in this post about what happens if you go over this amount and some part-time jobs that might be a good fit during this time.

    How to Work and Earn Social Security

    A senior executive checks his laptop
    StockLite /

    So let’s dive into the details of how you can work and collect social security contributions during your retirement. And then let’s look at some types of work that you can do in retirement for extra income.

    There is no such thing as “officially retired”. There is neither a legal definition nor a legal name.

    One day you just don’t make up your mind about the job or area to which you dedicated the first 30 or 40 years of your professional life. This often coincides with your 65th birthday, when you qualify for Medicare.

    However, you can start receiving social benefits before the age of 65, starting at 62.

    Full retirement age

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    The Social Security Administration website is clear and precise about making money by receiving benefits, but here’s what you need to know:

    Your full retirement age: If you were born between January 2, 1959 and January 1, 1960, your full retirement age for pension insurance is 66 years and 10 months.

    The full retirement age is reduced by two months earlier each year. Born in 1958, 66 years and 8 months. Born in 1957, 66 years and 6 months and so on.

    If you were born after the 1959 date, your full retirement age is 67. If you were born between 1943 and 1952, your full retirement age is 66.

    The government changed the rules on full retirement age because people are living longer.

    This is important! When you reach full retirement age and have a job, no matter how much you earn, you can keep all of your Social Security benefits.

    Salary restrictions

    older couple saves money
    Rob Marmion /

    If you have not reached full retirement age but are receiving Social Security benefits, you can earn up to $ 18,960 per year with no penalty. That’s $ 1,580 a month or $ 364 a week.

    As you earn more, your benefits will be reduced by $ 1 for every $ 2 you earn over the $ 18,960.

    But remember: once you reach full retirement age, you will be refunded the money previously deducted from your social security benefits. You never actually lose these funds, they are only withheld from you until you reach that magical age.

    Depending on whether you receive a salary while you are employed or whether you are self-employed, there are special rules that differ, however, according to the point in time of the crediting (when you earn the money or when you are paid). The Social Security Administration website can handle these specific issues for you.

    Check out these 13 ways to make money you might not have thought of before. And below are some suggestions for part-time jobs that can bring in some extra cash. Maybe they care more about what you want to do than what you’ve done so far.

    1. Interior work

    Dragon Pictures /

    According to the AARP, accounting is the most popular part-time job for workers over a certain age. That makes sense: it’s not physical, requires patience, and is probably not a popular job with younger people.

    And if you’re so inclined to start your own virtual accounting business, you can make up to $ 69 an hour.

    2. Health care

    Older worker
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    It may be attractive to offer help to those who are already in need, knowing that one day you may need medical help. Older people are encouraged to apply as assistants in nursing homes and hospitals.

    Certifications certainly make you more attractive as an employee, but there are jobs specifically for those who want to help but did not originally work in healthcare and do not have licenses or certificates.

    There may also be less structured options. If you have a friend or a friend of a friend with an older family member or neighbor who needs help during the day, let them know that you are looking for work. They can offer your services to drive them to doctor’s appointments, prepare lunch, or just keep company for a few hours.

    3. Work with children

    An elderly man gestures with his index finger
    VGstockstudio /

    Safety and welfare are a top priority for school administrators and offer several positions for older people interested in part-time work.

    While “transitional watch” may come to mind first, schools, colleges, and universities need staff to provide some level of security during special events, and older people, who may have grandchildren of their own, have built-in radar for wellbeing of the children.

    4. Working outdoors

    Exercise for older women
    Monkey Business Pictures /

    Your city or county recreation services or parks department may have work for you. If there is a forest authority in your area, contact them.

    From cleaning parks to walking through wooded areas in search of environmental issues (fallen trees, unexpected floods, etc.), it’s not a bad way to pay for a day for a nature walk.

    5. Help other seniors

    Happy seniors /

    Many communities have senior centers that offer activities and services. Yes, there are people in senior centers who play bridge, canasta, and chess.

    However, senior centers are also one of the first stop for employers when looking for people to fill paid positions that require attendance and attention. View your local senior center as a resource for finding a position that suits your interests.

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