June 18, 2024
Can you collect Social Security and work simultaneously? Gain insights into how Social Security benefits and working interact, as well as the tax rules and earning thresholds that come into play. Learn money management tips for financial planning and how to calculate your Social Security earnings — and if you're still unsure, consult a specialist to ensure that you're making informed decisions.


As people approach retirement age, many wonder whether they can work and collect Social Security at the same time. It is essential to understand the rules and regulations around these benefits, as misunderstanding can lead to financial hardship. This article will provide you with detailed information on the rules, advantages, and disadvantages of working and collecting Social Security. It will also explain how earnings impact benefits and provide tips for managing your finances.

Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations regarding collecting Social Security while working depend on your age and the type of benefits you receive. If you have reached full retirement age, currently set at 66 years and two months, there is no limit to how much you can earn and still receive your benefits. If you are under full retirement age, you can still work and receive benefits, but your earnings may affect your payments.

For every $2 you earn over the annual limit, Social Security will take back $1 from your benefit payments. In 2021, the annual limit is $18,960 for anyone who has not yet reached full retirement age. The income limits and the amount that Social Security will take back changes as you get closer to full retirement age.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are several advantages and disadvantages to working and collecting Social Security. One benefit is that you can continue to receive a steady income, which can be especially important if you have not saved enough for retirement. Working can also allow you to qualify for additional Social Security credits, which can increase your benefits in the future.

However, a disadvantage of working and collecting Social Security is that your benefits can be reduced or eliminated if you earn too much. Additionally, your payments may be subject to income taxes depending on the amount of your earnings, which can be a significant financial burden.

Impact on Benefits

If you collect Social Security benefits and work, your payments may be impacted if you earn above the annual limit. In that case, Social Security will withhold $1 of your benefits for every $2 you earn above the limit.

If you have not reached full retirement age, your payments may be further impacted. The Social Security Administration applies a different earnings test during the year you reach full retirement age. In this case, Social Security will withhold $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a higher limit. Once you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on how much you can earn and still receive your benefits.

How to Calculate Earnings

Calculating your earnings to determine what impact it may have on your Social Security benefits may seem overwhelming, but the Social Security Administration offers several tools to help you. The best place to start is the Retirement Earnings Test Calculator located on their website.

This tool will help you estimate how much your benefits will be reduced if you earn over the annual limit. Keep in mind that it’s important to calculate your net income instead of your gross income to understand how much you can earn and still collect your Social Security benefits.

Success Stories

Many people have successfully managed to work and collect Social Security simultaneously. One strategy that many use is to start with a part-time job or a side-gig that allows them to earn money without impacting their benefit payments. Others may choose to delay retirement, so they can continue working while collecting benefits.

If you’re considering working and collecting Social Security, it’s a good idea to speak with a financial advisor to create a personalized plan based on your particular situation and goals.

Money Management Tips

Managing your finances when working and collecting Social Security can be complicated, but there are tools and resources to help. It’s important to create a budget to understand your income and expenses, and to be careful not to overspend.

You may also want to consider working with a financial advisor who can help you create a strategy to manage your assets and investments. There may be special considerations to include, such as protecting your retirement savings and submitting taxes correctly.


Working and collecting Social Security benefits can be complicated, but understanding the rules and regulations can help you make informed decisions. Consider how it will impact your benefits, and don’t hesitate to seek out advice from a professional financial advisor. Remember to use the resources available at the Social Security Administration to help you calculate your earnings and manage your finances successfully.

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