Did you elect to take Social Security benefits before your full retirement age? If you did and are now looking for extra income, there may be an answer. Once you reach full retirement age, you can pay back the money you have received and reapply for full retirement benefits.
Although you can collect Social Security benefits between age 62 and your full retirement age, if you do, your benefits will be lower. For example, if you were born in 1944 and decided to retire at age 62, four years before your full retirement age of 66, your total benefit reduction is 25 percent. If your full benefit was to be $1,000 a month, your reduced benefit is $750. A little-known provision of the Social Security laws allows you to withdraw your application for early benefits and reapply for your full benefits. The catch is that you must be able to pay back all the money you received so far. However, because you don’t have to pay any interest on the benefits you received, if you can find the money to repay the benefits, it may be worth it. You could think of it as an interest-free loan.