Do my future Social Security benefits decrease if my salary decreases?

Published: July 20, 2023

Full question: I am 65 and pretty much retired since last year. Since my salary last year was very low $22,000 and have made much less this year I noticed my Social Security check diminished by $100 if I wait until I am 70 years old to draw. Will it continue to diminish if I am not working? Also, I have started a small business and if I paid myself a minimal salary $30,000 can I increase my Social Security income when I am 70 or will it still continue to diminish?

Hi there,

Your eventual benefit amount is based on your highest 35 years of earnings.

However, the online SSA annual projected benefit amounts for collecting at future ages, up to age 70, can change from year to year and appear to be decreasing if your earnings decrease.

This is because the SSA assumes you will continue to earn the same amount you are currently earning up to the year you collect benefits.

So, if you were making $50,000 and are now making $20,000 the new calculation of your benefits would show a lower future benefit.

If you would like to speak directly with an RSSA and get more personalized support, schedule a call here.

Take care,

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