If you were born in 1953, next year is your full retirement year. The 2019 earnings limit (wages and self-employment only) is $46,920. It’s time to do the math so you don’t miss out on the retirement benefits available to you starting in January 2019.
Here is how this strategy works: If you are earning about $80,000 a year from a job or from self-employment, you could possibly start taking a retirement benefit in January 2019. Social Security only counts your earnings for months prior to your full retirement month. This means if you were born in July 1953, they only count your earnings through June 2019. At $80,000 per year, you are only earning $40,000 through June and could take a slightly reduced benefit in January 2019 because your earnings are under the limit through June 2019. Social Security doesn’t care what you earn after June 2019 if you are under earnings limit.
Thousands of dollars in your pocket before June and you keep working earning your $80,000 for the year. Plus, if your spouse is eligible for spousal benefits, they can file on your record January 2019 as well.
This may not be the best choice for those who want to wait until 70 to maximize their retirement benefit, but if you were planning to file for your benefit in June 2019, this strategy is worth considering.
You can file for a January 2019 benefit at any time. Online applications are the most efficient way, but you must create your personal “My Social Security” account with Social Security at www.ssa.gov in order to file an online application. For more information about your “My Social Security” account, click here.
Contact me for a retirement benefit analysis!
About Dennis Heywood
Denny’s career with Social Security provides an in-depth, working knowledge of the Social Security Administration’s internal organization and processes. An expert in all phases of SSA programs: retirement, survivor, disability, and Medicare, Denny has expertise with the complex Social Security regulations based on more than 40 years of experience.