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As the name would imply, Social Security retirement benefits were meant to be paid out to beneficiaries after they stop working.

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You can continue to work as long as you want, and you can still collect Social Security benefits. However, you should be aware that continuing to work after claiming Social Security benefits could reduce the amount that you receive, particularly if you have not yet reached full retirement age.

Here is what you should know about how many hours you can work and still collect Social Security.

Working Before Full Retirement Age

From the perspective of the Social Security Administration, full retirement age for those born in 1960 or later is 67. If you continue to draw income before you reach full retirement age, the SSA considers you a worker rather than a retiree. As such, some of your benefits may be held back.

Specifically, for every $2 you earn above a certain limit, the SSA will withhold $1 of your earnings. For 2023, the earnings limit is $21,240.

As to how many hours you can work and still collect Social Security, this will obviously depend on your hourly wage. For example, if you earn $20 per hour, you can work 978 hours per year before your Social Security benefits are reduced, assuming you haven’t yet reached full retirement age. At 40 hours per work week, that means you can work just over 24 weeks before hitting the earnings limit. If your salary is higher, that number obviously will be adjusted downward.

Things change the year you reach full retirement age. At this point, the amount you can earn before any benefits get withheld is $56,520, as of 2023. Further, benefits are reduced by just $1 for every $3 you earn above the earnings limit.

Working After Full Retirement Age

For some people, working after full retirement age is not the definition of “retirement.” But for others, working after age 67 can be a joy — or a requirement.