Retirement at 60


Q: I am eligible to collect Social Security in September on my deceased husband’s Social Security. My question is as follows: At what age will I still be under the earnings limit of $14,160 per year?  Also, what is the definition of earnings (Salary, self employment, etc.)?

A: You will subject to the earnings test until to reach you full Social Security retirement age, which ranges between 65 and 67, depending on your year of birth. The test applies only to earnings from wages and self employment. Up until the year in which you reach full retirement age, your Social Security survivor’s benefit will be reduced by $1 for every $2 of earnings about the limit, which is $14, 160 this year. In the year you reach your full retirement age, the reduction will be $1 for every $3 you earn above a different limit, currently $37,680.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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