Help Me Retire: Can my brother get Social Security disability and still pay into a retirement account? ‘He recently developed a severe medical problem.’

by | Nov 11, 2023 | Stock Market

Dear MarketWatch,  My brother, 60, is self-employed and has been for over 30 years. He recently developed a severe medical problem that will shorten his life. Because he has been so ill, his revenue has dropped considerably. He will never be able to work like he used to. He applied for Social Security disability benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, he has to make less than $1,500 per month to get $1,500 per month. 

I just don’t know how long he can continue working. He has one employee who has been doing the hard work for him. This employee is young and my fear is that he will get a better job. When he leaves, this business will fold. My brother just can’t do the work. Can he put money into an IRA or 401(k) while he is being evaluated by the SSA for disability? Related: ‘I wake up with anxiety’: My husband leaves retirement-investing plans to me. How do I hire the right adviser? Dear reader,  I’m very sorry to hear about your brother’s situation.  Contributing to an IRA or 401(k) would not prevent him from qualifying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). Withdrawing from one, however, could.  Claiming Social Security disability benefits can be complex, and there are a number of rules involved.  As you mentioned, your earnings cannot exceed $1,470 (or $2,460 if blind) per month to qualify for disability benefits. The disability must also be classified as “severe,” …

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