I may be able to retire at 51. I have heard that social security looks at the last 10 years. What if I get a minimium wage job that I don't mind. Will I be sorry at age 62? Or should I stay miserable where I am at for a few more years? One of the experts should be along shortly. In the mean time, my understanding from asking the same basic question of SS myself is that they actually base it on the highest 30 years worth of income. So if you already have 30 years in and the minimum wage job will represent a new low, it won't change your benefits at all. On the other hand, if you currently have 30 years in, but the minimum wage job represents more than that part-time job back in high school, it could actually raise your benefits. On the third hand (Don't ask. Birth defect.) If you don't yet have 30 years in, you'll have to compare what the minimum wage job would pay compared to your current average wage.The Social Secruity Administration mails out letters annually that list the amount you earned each year since you began working. If you don't have one, you can also request one from them. (Check out http://www.ssa.gov for more details.) That should go a long way towards helping you figure out what would be best in your specific case.Sacto Fool
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