There's good news for you: Money you make prior to taking benefits won't count toward the earnings limit.
In the year you begin taking benefits, all that Social Security considers is any monthly earnings after you begin benefits. The monthly limit in 2013 is $1,260. So, if you earn less than that amount per month after you claim Social Security, you'll get your full monthly benefit. If you earn more than it, you won't receive a benefit for that month.
The rules are different for people who are self-employed. When you begin the first calendar year of your retirement, you'll be subject to an annual limit, $15,120 in 2013. To learn how this limit works, see "Can I Beat the Social Security Earnings Test?". For more information on the issue of working, see the Social Security publication "How Work Affects Your Benefits".
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