Employee Tax Expert

Retirement tax questions

Hi Bethr1000, good day! Thank you for coming to the TurboTax Special Forum.


The amount of Social Security retirement benefits is based on:

Lifetime earnings, and

Age at time of retirement.

Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. The highest 35 years are used to calculate average monthly earnings. Each year is indexed for inflation to approximate what earnings for that year would be in today’s dollars. Earnings for each year are also capped by the Social Security maximum earnings subject to Social Security tax for that year.


So to work or not before collecting Social Security depends on if the new earning can replace some of the lower earning years, or increase the earning years to 35. 


You mentioned work part time/working at lower income. If you do not have 35 Lifetime earnings, this will help to fill the gap. If you already have 35 Lifetime earnings, this will not impact Social Security calculation, but you get extra income.

Hope this helps.

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