social security

Does Winning the Lottery Affect Social Security Benefits?

The sudden windfall won't reduce your benefits. Here's why.

If a retiree were to win Friday's estimated $970 million (and growing) Mega Millions jackpot, his or her monthly Social Security benefit would be a mere drop in the monthly income bucket. Nonetheless, savvy retirees who know about Social Security's earnings test -- whereby Social Security will withhold $1 in benefits for every $2 in earnings above $17,640 in 2019 for workers who are younger than full retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) -- still occasionally express concern about potentially lost benefits in the event of a lottery windfall.

Good news: Lottery winnings aren't subject to the Social Security earnings test, so your jackpot won't reduce your benefits. But like other high-income households, you may have to pay bigger Medicare Part B premiums at age 65. The top premium in 2019 will be $460.50 per month.

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