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Boost your Social Security check by starting over
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5546299.html

But you can reapply from scratch with these easy steps. Visit the local Social Security office. Make use of a little-known provision — request a "Withdrawal of Application." By filing an SSA Form 521, Social Security will treat you as though you had never applied for benefits. It will let you immediately reapply for benefits — at your current age.

Yes, there is a catch. And it's a big one. You must repay every dime you've received in past benefits. But because Social Security charges no interest, reapplying turns out to be a really good deal. It represents a way to buy an inflation-adjusted annuity for a price that beats anything offered by the financial services industry.

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intercst
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What if a person “retires” at 62 and then finds another job, and earns
say, $30,000 a year.

How does this affect your scenario?
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What if a person “retires” at 62 and then finds another job, and earns
say, $30,000 a year.

How does this affect your scenario?

Generally, I don't think anyone under full retirement age working with a significant salary should not be collecting SS benefits. This is because the SS benefits will be taxed and may not be needed for day to day expenses. OTOH delaying or suspending SS benefits will increase the benefit amount when they are started or resumed.

Bob
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>> What if a person “retires” at 62 and then finds another job, and earns
say, $30,000 a year.

How does this affect your scenario?
<<

Realistically, if I were returning to work for that much salary, I'd be giving everything back just before I started that job. No point in complicating things *or* having a lot of your benefits lost and/or taxed more heavily.

#29
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What if a person “retires” at 62 and then finds another job, and earns
say, $30,000 a year.

How does this affect your scenario?


It throws a big monkey wrench into it.

Between age 62 and your full retirement age (which is something between 65 and 67 depending on your birthdate) if you have earned income, you can lose some or all of your social security benefits. So you would not be entitled to collect the full benefit.

There is a floor amount - currently about $13k - that you can earn without affecting your SS benefits. Note that this is EARNED income - wages and self employment - not interest, dividends, pensions, and other types of unearned income. Get over that floor and you have a lower SS benefit for that period. If you have collected a benefit, you may need to repay it.

So if you keep working, the early retirement and later withdrawal of application strategy doesn't work as well. The benefits you collect will be much smaller due to the earnings limitation. So there are fewer dollars in your savings account earning interest.

--Peter
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timomimo asks,

What if a person “retires” at 62 and then finds another job, and earns
say, $30,000 a year.

How does this affect your scenario?


If I had $30,000/yr. in wage and salary income at age 62 to 65, I wouldn't start collecting my SS benefit until I'd reached my full returement age (i.e., 65 to 67 depending on your birthdate.)

For 2008, they start reducing your SS check once you earn more than $13,500 per year.

http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/whileworking.htm

intercst
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>> If I had $30,000/yr. in wage and salary income at age 62 to 65, I wouldn't start collecting my SS benefit until I'd reached my full returement age (i.e., 65 to 67 depending on your birthdate.) <<

I certainly agree with you, but I parsed this as a hypothetical where you start collecting at 62 and then, at some later point, get another job.

In the scenario I described, it seems like giving back everything you've taken out of SS already would be a no-brainer if you had the cash set aside to do it -- and preferably before you start the new job to keep it neat and tidy.

#29
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For 2008, they start reducing your SS check once you earn more than $13,500 per year.
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That is true only if you are receiving benefits before in the year before you reach Normal Retirement Age.

It gets kinda funky in the year you reach NRA but after the month you reach NRA there are no limits.

buzman
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