Windfall elimination


Q. What does Social Security consider substantial earnings? It says if you have more than 30 years of substantial earnings, the windfall elimination doesn’t apply. I have 32 years of taxed Social Security earnings and 37 years of taxed Medicare earnings, but I am not sure what substantial is.

A. There’s a table for that. Compare your SS taxed earnings each year to the table on page 2 of the notice at


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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