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<If you retire at 45 and it is your highest 35 earning years that count for Social Security, that will give you some zero income
years unless you started paying significant social security taxes at age 10.
If you go to college and graduate at 21, and don't have significant income until 22, that means you are 57 before you can retire
without having some zeros in there.
Seems sensible to me.
Best wishes, Chris>
It might be worth mentioning that the social security formula for generating the payout amount to the beneficiary is very much "front-loaded" on the first thousands of "average" annual earnings (up to the annual maximum) over the lifetime as opposed to the payout being proportionally tied to the absolute total lifetime earnings (up to the annual maximum). I cannot recall the web site ( but, once you get the formula, you can run some calculations. Thus, because to the heavy weighting (in the formula) for the first increment of lifetime earnings, having a "few" zero years may very well not significantly reduce the payout.
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