Whether it be because of financial necessity or simply the desire to stay in the work force just a bit longer, you can continue to work at least part-time, and still draw on your Social Security benefits. There is a hitch though, because you can earn only a certain amount before your Social Security benefits are reduced.
The amount of money that you are able to earn while retired, and drawing Social Security benefits before they are reduced, depends largely on these following factors.
1. The age at which you choose to retire and draw Social Security benefits
You can retire and draw Social Security benefits at anytime between the ages of 62-70. The amount you can earn before deductions depends on your age before drawing benefits.
2. At what age you reach full retirement
Full retirement had always been 65, but because of the improvement in the health of older people, and because people were living longer; in 1983 there were amendments made to Social Security raising full retirement age.
Currently full retirement age is calculated as follows:
For those born in 1937 or earlier, full retirement age remains at 65 For those born between 1938-1942 two months is added to 65 for each of these years. For example, if you were born in 1938 full retirement age is 65 and two months. If you were born in 1942, full retirement is 65 and ten months. For those born between 1943-1954, full retirement is 66 with 2 months added for each year through 1959. For those born in 1960 or later full retirement age is 67.
3. The amount of money you earn
As of 2011, the annual limit you can make is $14,160 if you are under full retirement age. If more than that is made $1 in benefits is deducted for every $2 over the limit.
For the year in which you reach full retirement age $37,680 is the annual limit, with $1 for every $3 made over the annual limit deducted from your benefits, but only for the months before you reach full retirement age. After you reach full retirement age there is no limit put on the amount of money you can make.
You can continue to work and earn an income after you begin to draw Social Security benefits. Of course the amount you can earn before these benefits are deducted depends on your income, and the age of which you are when drawing these benefits.
Keep in mind, if you are drawing on your Social Security benefits and are under full retirement age, you could be raising your benefits for when you are of full retirement age. Every year the records of all Social Security recipients who work are reviewed. If your latest year of earnings ends up being one of your highest earning years, your Social Security benefits will be refigured, and you will be paid any increase due.