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Social Security Mailbox

Collecting Benefits While Working

But do I have to 'retire' first?

Q. In June I'll turn 66, my full retirement age. I plan to start taking my Social Security benefits and continue to work.

See also: Benefits and taxes.

So my question is: Do I have to physically hand in a retirement notice at my job, actually retire, and then be rehired? Or can I just draw my Social Security payments and come to work as usual?

A. For you it should be "come to work as usual" — you don't have to hand in your notice. The difference will be that your monthly Social Security checks will increase your annual income and may increase your taxes.

Depending on how much you make, Social Security benefits can be subject to federal income taxes, and in some places to state and local taxes.

So enjoy your "retirement" or at least your retirement benefits.

Stan Hinden, a former columnist for the Washington Post, wrote How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire. Have a question for the Social Security Mailbox? Check out the archive. If you don't find your answer there, send a query.

You may also like: Join the Social Security group. >>

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