Don’t Forget About Social Security As Part Of Your Financial Plan

Rocco Pendola
5 min readFeb 29, 2024

Never Retire Checklist: #16

Photo by Kristina Volgenau on Unsplash

Social Security is an entitlement program. You pay into it, therefore you are entitled to it. There’s no shame in collecting Social Security. And, despite how people in personal finance ignore or downplay its importance, Social Security can play a key role in your semi-retired life once you enter relative old age.

To help illustrate how powerful Social Security can be, here’s my current snapshot —

Given my focus on a low cost of living — and intention of bringing it even lower over the next few years — none of those amounts are anything to sneeze at. Not even the early retirement option, currently at $1,832 a month. If I wait until age 67, I could likely live comfortably off of Social Security, assuming my plans stay their course.

We’ll play with Social Security scenarios some other time. Today, let’s focus on some of the key rules for collecting Social Security while you work.

  • You can work and collect Social Security simultaneously. The rules are more favorable than you might think.
  • Prior to full retirement age, Social Security deducts $1 from your benefit payment for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2023, the annual limit is $21,240.
  • In the year you reach full retirement age, Social Security deducts $1 for every $3 you earn above the annual limit. For 2023, the annual limit is $56,520.
  • Beginning in the month you reach full retirement age, Social Security no longer reduces your benefit, no matter how much money you earn.

So, in my case, my early retirement benefit currently stands at $1,832 a month. I could earn up to, on average, $1,770 a month and not see my benefit reduced. At age 62, I’d have $3,602 a month to live on. Not too shabby at all, especially if I execute on my plan to not have a car payment and reduce my housing payment to zero and my housing expenses close to zero.

What if you move to another country? Here’s a nice tool you can use to determine your eligibility…

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