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This is a belated reply to your post, as I just found this board. However, in case you are interested, the best place to go for info is the Social Security website itself. It has a free calculator you can download that will provide you with the anwers you want.

In answer to your question of stopping work prior to age 62, the answer is yes, it may affect your benefits. Under the current system, you get a 5 year gimme in determining your avg wages for the formula. In addition, you get credit for any years of disability. So, if you stop work at age 55, and have worked all previous counted years, then you would have 2 years of $0 wages reported in the formula. Confused yet?

Anyway, the reduction will not likely be noticable. I would suggest downloading the free software and entering your information into it. By the way, you may want to review the Social Security estimate that was sent to you last year (2000) by the SSA. It should have listed your reported earnings.

Best of luck to you.

M Grabhorn, CFP
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