What to Consider If You’re Thinking of Going Back to Work

Photo by Greta Hoffman from Pexels

Many people mistakenly think that once you have retired and start collecting Social Security you can no longer work. That’s not true! You can work and collect benefits.

This is good news for retirees who may be contemplating getting a part-time job to help make ends meet. Inflation is making it a challenge for seniors living on fixed incomes to afford basic goods such as groceries and gas.

Money Matters

The Motley Fool says there are a few things you need to consider if you want to work but still collect your retirement benefits.  

Retired Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Work — There’s nothing preventing you from working and collecting Social Security benefits at the same time. In fact, after working 40-hour weeks for the past 40-50 years, it may be hard to quit cold turkey. Many people take on a part-time job to transition into retirement. It’s a way to keep busy and earn some extra money.

When You Work Will Impact Your Benefits — It may pay to wait a bit before you go back to work. That’s because if you work and collect Social Security simultaneously before reaching full retirement age (FRA), you could risk having some benefits withheld. Each year, there’s an income threshold established called the earnings-test limit. If you exceed that limit, you will give up some immediate Social Security income, but you will get that money back later after you reach FRA. This year, the earnings-test limit is $19,560 if you will not hit FRA and $51,960 if you will reach FRA during 2022.

Money Can Buy Happiness — In addition to the potential extra income, it’s important to remember that working can give you a sense of purpose. It gives you something interesting and meaningful to do with your time. Many seniors have difficulty adjusting to a lack of structure after wrapping up their careers, so getting a part-time job can help your mental and social well-being.

Help on the Horizon

Seniors who work during retirement should be doing so because they want to — not because they have to. The Seniors Trust wants to ensure that every retired worker receives adequate Social Security benefits and a fair cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). We’re working diligently to get Congress to pass the Social Security Expansion Act. This landmark piece of legislation would use the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly to calculate Social Security COLAs, providing retirees with a more realistic COLA. It would also increase benefits by about $65 per month and secure the long-term solvency of the Social Security program, ensuring it is here for today’s retirees and tomorrow’s.

If you want to join the overwhelming majority of Americans calling for Social Security reform, please consider signing our petition to Congress.