How Working During Retirement Impacts Your Social Security Benefits

Working While Retired Social Security Impact BP Financial

Do you plan to work while retired and receiving Social Security benefits?

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you’re ready to slow down. Plenty of individuals continue to work later in life, whether it’s as an advisor at their previous company, part-time or seasonal work, or even volunteering with a local nonprofit.

In fact, two-thirds of Americans plan to work during retirement, according to the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey. If you’re one of them, here are a few opportunities to consider, and how working now can impact your Social Security benefits down the line.

Unique Jobs for Retirement

Seasonal work with the National Park Service

From Maine to Guam, and everywhere in between, the National Park Service has volunteer and employment opportunities for people of all ages.You might even have housing provided depending on the position and location. Though it requires some irregular hours (including nights and weekends), these jobs are great opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature.

Seasonal work in other wonderful places

Job boards such as and specialize in seasonal employment for older workers. You can spend a summer on an island or in a small beach town, enjoying a change of scenery while still staying busy.

Overseas opportunities

Bitten by the travel bug? Your encore career could include opening a bed and breakfast in a favorite getaway town, teaching English abroad, or becoming a tour guide. Or, if you have strong leadership skills, The Experiment in International Living offers programs for you to accompany high school students in countries around the world.

How Does Working During Retirement Impact Your Social Security Benefits?

If you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, your income might impact your Social Security benefits.

The work could result in you receiving a higher benefit in the future, or even increase the benefits your family and survivors receive one day. However, it might also reduce the benefits you’re currently receiving.

Each year the Social Security Administration will review your records and make adjustments to your benefits as necessary. According to, “If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. We pay the increase retroactive to January the year after you earned the money.”

How Your Job Can Reduce Your Social Security Benefits

If you decide to work while receiving Social Security benefits before you reach full retirement age, your income could result in a deduction of benefits. Any earnings you receive after you reach full retirement age will not impact your benefits.

There are two different cases:

If you’re under the full retirement age for the entire year

If you won’t reach full retirement age this fiscal year, the Social Security Administration will deduct $1 from your benefits payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. In 2017, that limit is $16,920.

If you reach full retirement age this fiscal year

If you’ll reach full retirement age at some point this year, the Social Security Administration only deducts $1 for every $3 you earn above a different limit: $44,880. They only count the months before you reach full retirement age, so if you reach it in June and have only earned $40,000 at that point, you will not see a deduction in your benefits.

Calculate Your Social Security Benefits Reduction with BP Financial in Austin TX

You can do a quick test to see how much your benefits will be reduced with the Social Security Administration’s Retirement Earnings Test Calculator.

However, these numbers can be confusing, especially if you don’t have accurate estimates for your earnings or expected benefits. That’s where financial planners, like the ones at BP Financial, come in.

If you have questions about working during retirement, contact Brett Pittsenbargar of BP Financial in Austin TX today.

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