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Last Update : 05-23-2012 

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Social Security Question:

My husband will reach full retirement age, 66 in July 2012. He will have earned over the 38,880 by 15,100 therefore will hav

Social Security Answer:

My husband will reach full retirement age, 66 in July 2012. He will have earned over the 38,880 by 15,100 therefore will have the $1 for every $3 earned taken up until July. He will continue to work full time and earn an annual income of approx $138,000. We know we will pay taxes on Social Security income. Our main thought is there any reason we should wait to collect his retirement other than saving the penalty? and is that really a big deal? Should he wait to collect in January of 2013?

Support Replied ~ 05-26-2012 00:41:00

Dear Jennifer: Since it is May now, if he filed today, then Social Security would have to hold at least 2 checks and he will be eligible for July, which he is eligible for anyway because he is full retirement age . The years between age 66 and 70 are important because of delayed retirement credits....If he puts off collecting, he gets 8% on his money each year. Social Security gives credit by the month, so if he waits until January 2013, he will get a good increase in his checks. Also if you are age 66, you can receive 1/2 his age 66 amount starting in July and leave your own amount to grow until you are age 70. If you have already filed then you could have some spouses' benefits coming if your full retirement amount is less than 1/2 of his. He doesn't need to get payments for you to receive (he can file and suspend). If you have further questions, please write back.....Carol
Your Comment ~ 05-31-2012 17:42:18

I am not at full retirement age (i'm 47). My main concern was since he will continue to work full time and collect Social Security and we will be paying taxes on the Social Security he collects is there any reason to wait until January 2013? Our combined earned income is 242,000/total income 405,000 I don't think he wants to wait any later he was only thinking of waiting until then because of the holding of the checks but I don't know if that will amount to to much because of the tax situation. Also since he will still be working full time does his amount get adjusted or once he starts collecting that's it. Thank you very much for your help! Jennifer

Support Replied ~ 06-01-2012 10:27:12

Dear Jennifer: I am a little confused....When is he going to stop working? (he can collect and not stop working any time after July). If it is January, then you are correct in that in 2013 your gross will be less because he will not be working and instead of a salary, he will be getting Social Security income. That will make your tax burden a lot less. He can get credit for those months that he didn't collect.....ALSO, he could file in January and get 6 months retro, but not sure if that will count in 2012 or 2013....At one time Social Security counted when you should have received it.....These are things that you must weight when finding out exactly how much he will get. If he is continuing to work until nearer 70, then he should consider leaving it alone until he stops work and his yearly income is less. One always get recomped when there are earnings in the prior year. Sometimes, the benefit amount does not go up because the year is not one of his highest 35 years. For example, when one gets a retirement job that pays a lot less than what he had previously earned. Get back if you have further questions......Carol
Your Comment ~ 06-04-2012 17:11:53

He doesn't really have any plans on retiring he just figured he was at full retirement age so he would go ahead and start collecting what was coming to him in July. Then I figured his income and realized he would have to pay the 1 for every 3 over 38,880 and wondered if the only way to avoid that would be to wait until January of 2013 and was it really that big of a deal or should he just go ahead and collect, that's the main question. Man I thought was going to be so easy to decide! Jennifer

Support Replied ~ 06-05-2012 14:38:39

Dear Jennifer: The options that your husband has are: 1. File for benefits to start for July...No one for three since he is full retirement age. 2. Wait until he stops working up until age 70. The later he waits the higher his check will be. The IRS taxes that he pays on his Social Security will depend on how much his and your earned income are the year that he collects. Your confusion was the one for three rule and that does not come into play. If your husband had filed in 1/12, Social Security would have taken the amount of money that he earned from Jan till June, subtract the $38800 and then divide by 3 to see how much they had to hold for him to be payable before his FRA. They would have had to hold around $10000 which is around 4-6 checks, depending on what his check amount is. Since that is impossible now, the above options are the ones open to him. Hope that explains things better.......Carol
Your Comment ~ 06-06-2012 16:05:17

Thank you, Carol. That was my confusion because the wording stated that if you reach full retirement age during 2012 you must deduct 1 from your benefits for each 3 you earn above 38,800 (applies only to earnings for months prior to reaching full retirement age) However the way you explain it is if he actually filed earlier than full retirement age then it would apply which now makes since. Thank you for the explanation it has now sunk in! Jennifer

Support Replied ~ 06-07-2012 17:46:03

Dear Jennifer: SS can be confusing...Glad that I helped.......Carol

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"Social Security Advisor" is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment or other professional advice or services.

Information obtained from, including e-mail responses from "Social Security Advisor" should be considered as general educational information. You must never rely upon the advice given here. Your individual situation may not fit the generalizations discussed. Only your local Social Security office can evaluate your individual situation and give you advice.

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Thank you so much. The amount of infomation you provided on our call went a long way in helping to resolve the issues I had with the social security rep I was working with.
Tom F. 04-25-2020

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