Monday, August 17, 2009

"Will nobody rid me of this job?"

Here I am, away from my home for yet another week, working in a job I am very willing to give up when I find a replacement closer to home...or one that let's me work from home again. I looked at our finances and know I can't retire yet -- too much 'grasshopper' not enough 'ant' in my past; economy blow-out; failure to adequately plan in earlier years. But in discussions over this past weekend, my wife came up with Plan C (or D, or E, maybe).

I am close enough to full retirement age that I could begin to draw Social Security... which, come to think of it, might be a good thing to get while the gettin' is good.... although my SS check would be reduced since I'm not yet Full Retirement Age. If I continue to work as well, SS sets an earnings maximum (in the neighborhood of $14500 for 2009). Earning more than that would trigger a $1 reduction of my SS check for every $2 I earned over the threshold. Of course, that means I'd still come out ahead since I'd be earning more than the reduction. But there's a catch -- or at least so I hear from the kindly folks @ Soc Sec Admin.

If I tell them I'm likely to earn, for instance, $20,000 while drawing SS, they calculate my reduction up front. That $5500 over the threshold = $2750 reduction = $230/month less, and I could deal w/ that since I'd be netting about $360/month more from the extra $5500. $20K job + SS check <$230> would work. But SSA says they don't send out partial checks -- only full months' checks. So their solution, bless their pointy heads, is simply to not send any check at all until they've withheld at least the $2750 for that year. That would mean no SS check of any size for the 1st three or four months of every year, and $1300 by itself isn't enough to replace my current job for those months, even though I'd be receiving my "normal" SS check for the remainder of each year. There are some more ins and outs, but my brain is full.

Oh, but back to Plan C/D/E which would be to work only up to the SS threshold for earned income while drawing a check. $14500 is low enough that net would be about $975/mo which, on top of an unmitigated SS check, would just about do it for me. So now the search is on for, ideally, a part-time position at a reasonable salary but only for 25-30 hours a week, yielding an annual income somewhere in the neighborhood of the SS threshold. Even better would be the sort of p/t job that I could cut back hours as/if I started getting close to the threshold.

There has to be something out there that fits the bill. Keep the faith!

A catastrophe
but the earth turns and renews.
Oh - make other plans.

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