So you’ve decided to return to work part-time after you have retired. You’re not alone. According to Julie Virta, a senior financial advisor with Vanguard, “We’re seeing a trend of people retiring from a long-term career…and a while later deciding they want a part-time job.”
Some folks know before retirement they will need the income down the road. Others anticipate the need to stay busy after a career of 40-hour weeks. And, many people don’t plan to take on part-time work in retirement but learn that either boredom or finances drive them back to work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of people ages 60 to 64 were working at least part-time during 2017. The same held true for nearly a third of people (31.2 percent) in the 65 – 69 age group.
“I still see people working at age 70, 71 or 72,” Virta explained. “It brings them a sense of value that they had in their long-time professional career.”
If you’re thinking of joining their ranks, here are a few things to consider before you start your part-time employment or initiate your social security payments at age 62.
Delaying Social Security for as long as possible means a higher monthly check. Yet, many people take it as soon as they can – at age 62 – or soon thereafter. If you choose to receive Social Security income before you are at full retirement age and are still working or return to work, your wage income could reduce your benefits.
There is an annual limit that a part-time worker can earn before their social security is reduced. For 2019, that limit is $17,640. According to the web site of the Social Security office, if you are under full retirement age for the entire year, for every two dollars that you earn above that annual limit, they will deduct one dollar from your monthly benefit. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html
It’s not all for naught. When you reach full retirement age around 66 or 67 (it depends on your birth year) that money that was subtracted comes back to you in the form of a higher check each month.
Keep in mind that depending on your overall income, up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefit is subject to federal income tax. Once you are at full retirement, you can earn as much as you would like without affecting your Social Security benefits. Navigating and understanding Social Security can be overwhelming. If in doubt, take the time to go to your local Social Security office to seek help.