Q. I retired from the military in 1999. I have paid into social security for over 35 yrs. Since 1999 I have worked for a school district that does not pay into social security. My specific question: “can I draw both my social security and my teachers’ retirement in the state of Texas without being penalized?”

A. You should be able to draw both your full Social Security benefit and your teacher retirement benefit. Anyone who has thirty or more years of substantial Social Security earnings is exempt from the Social Security Act’s Windfall Elimination Provision. See http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10045.html for a listing of earnings considered substantial. If you have at least 20 years of substantial earnings but less than 35 years, you can calculate your benefit reduction at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/wep-chart.htm