Q&A: Social Security doesn’t prevent working

Dear Liz: I have a friend who is in her early 70s and earns income from her own business but she said that she also collects Social Security. How is this possible? I thought that a person cannot earn income from a job or self-employment while also collecting Social Security. Am I wrong?

Answer: Quite wrong.

Nothing prevents people from working while receiving Social Security. If they’re receiving benefits before their full retirement age — which is currently 66 — their checks are subject to the earnings test. That test reduces the amount they receive by $1 for every $2 they earn over a certain limit, which in 2019 was $17,640.

Once people reach full retirement age, the earnings test goes away and they no longer have to worry about its effect on their checks.

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