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Retired Military Finances 101: Social Security and Retirement Earnings Thumbnail

Retired Military Finances 101: Social Security and Retirement Earnings

Retirement Funding

You've retired once already. Things have gone pretty well, and your military retirement and VA Disability plus your expected Social Security benefits allow you to seriously consider cutting way back on your hours and just work part time.

However, continuing to work while collecting social security can affect your monthly benefits if you claim these before your full retirement age. Your full retirement age depends on the year you were born, so make sure you're aware of this criterion before you claim benefits.1

The first and most important thing to know is that once you reach full retirement age there is no limit to how much you can earn. Once you've reached full retirement age, you are fully vested in the social security system, so your benefits won't be reduced.2

However, if you continue working after you've retired before your full retirement age and are claiming social security, your benefits could be affected.

  • Your Social Security benefits might be temporarily reduced. If you opt to work while receiving social security before your full retirement age, you will only be able to receive a certain level of income before your benefit is temporarily reduced. In 2022, the social security earnings limit is $1,630 per month, or $19,560 per year, for someone who has not reached full retirement age (this limit does not include your military retirement or VA disability). If you earn more than this amount, you can expect to have $1 withheld from your social security benefit for every $2 earned above the limit.1,2
  • The Social Security earnings limit depends on your age. Your full retirement age is based on the year you were born. The full retirement age for anyone born between 1943 and 1954 is 66 years old. Individuals born in 1960 or later have a full retirement age of 67.2,3
  • You might be eligible for a higher Social Security benefit later. The limit mentioned above changes the year you reach full retirement age. During this year, you lose only $1 of benefits for each $3 you earn above the limit until the month you reach full retirement age. Furthermore, the earnings limit goes up the year you reach this age. For 2022, the earnings limit for the year of full retirement age is $51,860 (like above, military retirement and VA disability).4

Your best bet might be to continue to delay taking social security benefits until your full retirement age or later.

Military Finances are Different

Most Americans will receive Social Security benefits. Most won't receive a military pension and VA disability payments. If you're a retired Senior Military Officer or NCO that fact of the matter is, your finances are different than a civilian. That's why we think you should work with a Financial Planner or Advisor that deals with people just like you every day. If you'd like to find out how we do things, use the button below to schedule a free initial consultation.

If you found this article useful, you might like the following blog posts:

Military Finances 201: Take Social Security Early and Invest It?

Another "Round" of Social Security for All My Friends!

Retired Military Finances 101: How to Estimate Your Future Social Security Benefits

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/select/social-security-retirement-earnings-test-how-it-works/
  2. https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/social-security/articles/what-happens-if-you-work-while-receiving-social-security
  3. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10035.pdf
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcarlson/2022/01/24/heres-how-working-after-62-can-change-your-social-security-benefits/?sh=5c586eff679d

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