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I'm 58 and have been self-employed for 27 years. Having no "financial planning" and no savings, I found out last year that my social security income would be a whopping $412/mo....who knew that after paying 10's of thousands of dollars into FICA that I would only receive a meager amount? Now, I am trying desperately to find a "real" job that would match IRA funds, pay my FICA, and allow me to build up my SS to the mean "average" of $842/mo. If I don't draw on my SS until the age of 70, may I work without penalty? Has anyone been in this boat?
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<I'm 58 and have been self-employed for 27 years. Having no "financial planning" and no savings, I found out last year that my social security income would be a whopping $412/mo....who knew that after paying 10's of thousands of dollars into FICA that I would only receive a meager amount?>


It is a little hard to respond in that you do not provide enough context to your story. I do wish you the best of luck in the future. However, your situation does prove that retirement planning that starts at age 58 is not likely to be very successful.

IRA's have been around since around 1975. $2000/year plus the growth from that would have given you a good start. Plus you would have gotten a tax deduction for the contributions. While I am a little weak on the rules for businesses, I believe you could have contributed even more than the 2k annual limit for many of those years.

Depending on SS for 100% of your retirement income is a bad strategy. If the self employment income was not enough to put away something for retirement, bells and whistles should have gone off a long time ago. Was it a matter of not generating enough income or not LBYM?

The change in the law over the past year is that those between 65-70 collecting SS do not have their benefit reduced by working. The benefit is still taxed if you are above certain income limits.


BRG
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I would check the correctness of your social security income. My wife has a number of years with no income and quite a few more of part-time income and her projected social security income is considerably higher than yours.
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