We're a late 47 yr old childless couple, hoping to maybe early retire, and currently our main "day jobs" paychecks don't contribute to Social Security.
But we will also not get pensions from these jobs, since we hope to not work long enough in this career to qualify (we don't like it).
We don't pay into S.S. because we happen to live in one of the 15 states where public workers are exempt from paying Social Security taxes. (Bad luck).
We already have both achieved our 40 quarters of Social Security contributions to receive the minimum payment in retirement age, but, so far, just near the minimum amount, since we have many $0 years already. However, if we hold out until 70 (living off other wealth), I will get about $1,200 and my wife about $1,000, even if we never work again.
I am also focusing on building wealth in other ways so we don't have to fully rely on Social Security, but I also know it would be a big help if those checks--for life--were more than the $2,200 combined. Especially considering many lifetime workers will get the max, which is well over $3k/month for one person.
If we move to other states without this irritating exemption from Social Security tax, we can work in this same role and still contribute toward SS. It is possible we could be paying taxes on good salaries, like $150k combined, so could put some "good years" into our 35 year Social Security history. But of course, that would require getting certified in that state, moving, finding a job there, and generally starting over there. I have family in one such state, though.
I also currently make between $10k--$25k in self-employed freelance work and that is paying into Social Security (in fact, I pay both the employee and employer's share since I'm self employed for that work).
My question is:
- How much is working in this "no pension/no S.S. contribution" situation hurting us financially down the road? How much is it worth moving/recertifying in another state and moving there to do the same job but make S.S. contributions?
I just wanted to make sure I am thinking of this clearly and not leaving out any considerations--which I have a feeling I am.