If you tap Social Security before your full retirement age (as defined by the government) and are still working or return to work, your wage income could reduce your benefits.
While delaying Social Security for as long as possible means a higher monthly check, many people take it as soon as they can — at age 62 — or soon thereafter.
If you do start getting those monthly checks early, there's a limit on how much you can earn from working without your benefits being affected. For 2018, that cap is $17,040.
If you earn more than that, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over that threshold.
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Then, when you reach full retirement age around age 66 or 67 — the exact age depends on your birth year — the money comes back to you in the form of a higher monthly check. (And remember, depending on your overall income, up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefit is subject to federal income tax.)
At that point, you also can earn as much as you want from working without it affecting your Social Security benefits.
Also, if you are one of those early takers who is working and you reach full retirement age during 2018, then $1 gets deducted from your benefits for every $3 you earn above $45,360.