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By wordsthatecho
March 22, 2016

In this series, “Social Security Secrets,” experts Larry Kotlikoff and Phil Moeller explain the most important things you need to know about this valuable retirement benefit. Kotlikoff and Moeller are co-authors of the New York Times best-seller Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.

Are collecting Social Security benefits while still in the workforce? Then you may be subject to Social Security’s earnings test, which can reduce benefits based on your earnings record if you make more than a certain amount of money.

In this video, Phil Moeller and Larry Kotlikoff, co-authors of Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security, explain the ins and outs of the earnings test. Some key stuff you need to know:

  • If you’re younger than what Social Security calls full retirement age—currently 66—the earnings test can reduce your benefits as much as 50 cents for every additional dollar you earn over a certain threshold.
  • The earnings test can reduce not only your benefits, but the benefits of anyone collecting on your work record—your spouse or child, for example.
  • The year you turn 66, you’re still subject to the earnings test, though the income bite isn’t as large.
  • Once you reach your 66th birthday, you’re no longer subject to the test.
  • The benefits that you lose out on because of the earnings test can be restored to you later, in the form of increased benefits.
Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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