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Question on the significance of 140 SS quarters
Old 12-15-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
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Question on the significance of 140 SS quarters

I currently have 128 quarters after retiring at age 55 (I spent my younger years working for the Fed. Govt.). My salary for the last 15 years or so was well above whatever the dollar figure was when SS deductions from paychecks stop. I know that 140 quarters is some sort of magical number SSA number.

Question - is it worth getting some low key part time work at a low/moderate salary (10-20 dollars per hour) to get up to 140 qarters? I did take some time to search around ssa.gov but couldn't really find anything to help. I am presume my annual SS statement is based on the assumption I will keep working until I am at their retirement date (62 for ER) Any responses, or requests for additional info that is required to answer this question would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
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I have never heard of 140 quarters having any significance (except you worked a long time). You need 40 quarters to qualify for SS benefits.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:30 PM   #3
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SS is calculated for the 35 years (or less) of greatest earnings, so work for a few years and you'll get a bit more SS, but unless you are earning more than at the beginning of your career working past 35 years won't result is a higher SS payment.

Another big SS number year is 30 as after that WEP doesn't apply.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:32 PM   #4
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What Bikerdude said.

To determine if working additional quarters will help you, go to the SS website, find the retirement benefit calculator, and plug in your numbers from your earnings statement to date, then enter zero for future years. Compare what you get to what your statement is telling you you'll get continuing to work until retirement age.

I suspect you'll find very little difference in your monthly benefit either way.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Social Security has a calculator on line that may help you figure this out.
Benefits are figured out by using your top 35 years, it looks like you will have 32 years in. You can experiment with the calculator . Put 0's in for a correct estimate or future income. and then add 3 years of hypotetical salary and compare. Social Security Online Calculator

It will likely by a small difference. 9% or so.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the quick useful responses, rothlev's 9%was right on (actually 9.2%). using age 65 whhich is a little below my 66.3 yeas for full SS bennies. The part time low pay work to add 12 quarters is almost useless. Everyone enjoy their ER!!!!!!!
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
The part time low pay work to add 12 quarters is almost useless.
Thats right. I called SS and asked the same question a while back. The person I was talking to really knew his stuff. I assumed because I was getting a monthly severence check, which is being considered earned income, I would get more money.

He said your highest 35 yrs are indexed, so what I made in the 70's, 80's etc. are calculated by comparing the value of the dollar then to the value of the now. So, If I just made $20K back then, it is adjustedd to the new dollar value amount after adding inflation etc.

I'm not as good at explaining it as he is. But, the trick is to wait until I'm 64. I'll get an 8% raise from 63-64. Someone on this site posted the % change each yr. from 62-66, and 64 is the best time for me to collect because I get an 8% increase from 63-64.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by heirloom View Post
the trick is to wait until I'm 64. I'll get an 8% raise from 63-64. Someone on this site posted the % change each yr. from 62-66, and 64 is the best time for me to collect because I get an 8% increase from 63-64.
Dumb question but is 64 better than 65, 67 or 70? Do you not get the 8% increase going from 64 to 65?
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by george76 View Post
Dumb question but is 64 better than 65, 67 or 70? Do you not get the 8% increase going from 64 to 65?
You get your full retirement benefit (100%) if you retire at age 66, you receive about 8% more per year if you delay up to age 70. If you retire before age 66 you lose 5/9 of 1% per month early up to 3 years. Details here Early or Late Retirement
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