! Social Security Basics
William Reichenstein , CFA, holds the Pat and Thomas R. Powers Chair in Investment Management at Baylor University and is head of research at Social Security Solutions, Inc .
William Meyer is founder and CEO of Social Security Solutions Inc., a service that provides personalized recommendations as to when to claim Social Security benefits.


Jeff Ryan from IL posted over 4 years ago:

So here's a question: If you're eligible for Social Security benefits based on having worked full-time for a significant number of years, will pension payments from a pension plan for part-time work (as an adjunct faculty member at a community college) reduce your Social Security benefits? The pension payments were never based on full-time work.


Charles Rotblut from IL posted over 4 years ago:


Here is what the Social Security Administration says on their website:

If your pension is from work where you paid Social Security taxes, it will not affect the amount of your Social Security benefit. However, if any part of your pension is from work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, it could affect the amount of your Social Security benefit.



Bruce from GA posted over 4 years ago:

Because I have been unemployed for the past several months and not being able secure another job quickly, I decided to start receiving social security at age 62 and 6 months. If I should happen to get a new well paying full-time job and hopefully, work up to 75, can I stop drawing social security and pay back what I have received and postpone receiving social security when I retire again? Also, I have about a 70% loss of hearing in each ear (been losing hearing since an early age - not job nor injury related), but hearing loss may prevent me from working as a chaplain or pastor in the future. Would my current or future hearing loss quality me currently or in future for disability social security?

Roger Malone from OR posted over 4 years ago:

I turn 66 on March 4th of 2014. If SSA says I will receive approximately $1750 per month then, is there any way to boost the payments beyond that amount still starting on March 4th of 2014?

Ken Milder from NM posted over 4 years ago:

For Bruce from Mississippi: Yes, you can return to work and stop your Social Security income payments. This will improve your benefit amount when you decide to fully retire in the future. Each case is unique, so you'll need to contact your Social Security office. Also see .

For Roger Malone: I believe you are referring to Supplemental Social Security Income. See .

Ken Milder from NM posted over 4 years ago:

For Bruce and Roger, the URLs for information on the Social Security website were stripped from my previous post. They were to pages about "Returning to Work" and "Understanding Supplemental Social Security Income." Find the site and do a search.

Tim from ND posted over 4 years ago:

If I started drawing my Social Security at 62; but, know I made a mistake is it possible for me to pay the money back to the SSA and wait until I am 70 years old?

C Arnold from TX posted over 4 years ago:

I look forward to the next articles in this series since I've often found William Reichenstein's articles informative. I hope he addresses the time value of money in his recommendations on strategy for timing benefits.

In many other articles, this is ignored and the recommendation is to delay since the dollar amount one will receive per month is higher. But when I've done the calculations of present value of an income stream starting at age 62 versus a higher income stream starting at age 66 versus a still higher income stream starting at age 70 - I haven't found much difference in present value, which makes me think the government actuaries knew what they were doing. Of course it will depend on the longevity and discount rates one assumes, and trying to factor in future cost of living adjustments to benefits will complicate it further.

Rick from ND posted over 4 years ago:

Very interesting information, but you totally lost me when you starting talking about AIME. If I retire at age 61 (with no further earnings) but don't start drawing until age 66, how can I calculate what my estimate of PIA will be at age 66? There needs to be a simple way to figure this out because this affects planning for the future. Did I miss something in this article or is it that difficult to find out?

Charles Rotblut from IL posted over 4 years ago:


The Social Security Administration has a retirement estimate tool that may help

T. Rowe Price also has a useful tool at:

If you need something more customized then you may want to consider a premium service such as the authors service, Social Security Solutions

I hope this helps,

Tim from ND posted over 4 years ago:

I started drawing my Social Security at the age of 62,which was a mistake. I am now 68 and would like to pay all the money back to Social Security and wait until I am 70 to draw my Social Security. Is that possible?

Scott Brown from GA posted over 4 years ago:

I am self employed as a business owner and am 62 years old. I intend to retire at FRA (66) and have recently increased the salary I am paid from my business. If I continue to pay myself that increased salary until I retire (in about 4 more years), will that help increase the benefit payment I will get when I retire at FRA?

Mike S. from IL posted over 4 years ago:

Rick from N. Dakota (and others):

Yep, I think the actuaries did their homework. No matter when you file and claim benefits, you're going to net about the same amount drawn over your lifetime. If you want to provide for a spouse who never worked and may be expected to outlive you by a lot, then waiting until age 70 makes sense. Otherwise, it's more of a fun problem to see how much you can squeeze from the system's complex rules.

Check out Tom Margenau's "Social Security and You" columns, which you can find on creators.com. He is a retired SSA guy who knows the rules, answers questions (for free), and offers an interesting contrarian view to Reichenstein and others who want us to "optimize" our draw from social security.

Richard Abbott from FL posted over 4 years ago:

I started my social security at 62 and never had any regrets doing do. I am 83 years old now and still ahead financially by starting collecting my S/S at age 62. The reason being I did not have to touch my IRA account for money until 70&1/2. My IRA made a lot more money for me than S/S would have PAID ME. Plus I didn't pay any income taxes on my IRA until I was required to start withdrawing because of RMD under the IRS rules at age 70&1/2.

John Griffin from TX posted over 4 years ago:

Will my wife, who earns as much as I do, get the same amount of money at 70 as I will at age 70?

Bob Davis from IL posted over 4 years ago:

If I take social security benefits at 62, and my wife takes her spousal benefit at 62, will her benefit be one half of mine, or is her benefit reduced by a greater amount.

David Fischer from TX posted over 4 years ago:

Can someone provide a link to a useful tool, to calculate the present value of an existing pension payment? I’ve tried several tools, to little benefit and still have no calculated current value. In reference to comments by C Arnold from Texas above, I wish to obtain a current value for financial-planning purposes and in determining my SS election choice. D Fischer, Texas

Roger Oesterling from Florida posted over 3 years ago:

I have paid into Social Security from 1954 until I retired at age 65 in 2007. I married a British citizen in 2005. Will she be able to collect my Social Security benefits after I pass on?

Melinda Reach from ME posted over 3 years ago:

Will my husband's maximum spousal benefit increase if I delay filing until 70 vs. full retirement age? If i die, will his maximum benefit be based on my benefit taken at 70 vs. 66?

Charlie from Colorado posted over 3 years ago:

My fiancée soon turns 62 and has contributed to Social Security, as an independent consultant her whole working life. If she starts drawing at age 62 and then we marry in a few years, will she be locked in to her initial benefit draw or can she then switch over to drawing spousal benefits based on my contributions, which were much, much larger?

Charles Rotblut from IL posted over 3 years ago:


The Social Security Administration has a page devoted to spousal benefits. If the links on this page do not answer your questions, I suggest contacting an advisor who is well-versed on Social Security benefits (many financial advisors are not).


Doug from CA posted over 3 years ago:

By retiring at age 63 1/2 I will receive about 154K in benefits by the time I'm 70 years of age. The additional SSA benefit at age 70 puts break even at about age 83. As a group of investors I'm surprised that anyone would pass on taking the money prior to turning 70. Considering the rule of 7.2% just imagine how much further back you could push the break even point.

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