Retirement

How You Can Grow Your Social Security Benefits Beyond Retirement Age

November 30, 2017 • By

Last Updated: August 2, 2021

man and woman outside on laptop For more and more Americans, reaching retirement age no longer means the end of an active working life. Many people are choosing to work past the age of 65, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you’re willing and able, maintaining gainful employment later in life could go a long way toward ensuring a secure future for you and your family. Besides providing you with additional income to pay your bills, extending your employment or working for yourself could boost your lifetime Social Security benefits.

Here’s how:

Whether you’re still working or not, waiting to claim your Social Security retirement benefits could grow them significantly. Through delayed retirement credits, your monthly benefit amount increases for each year you wait between your full retirement age and 70. Full retirement age is between 65 and 67, depending on when you were born. To learn more about delayed retirement credits, please visit our Retirement Benefits page.

You get credits on your earnings record for each year of additional work income. Once you start receiving retirement benefits, we’ll automatically review your earnings record each year to determine if you’re entitled to an adjustment. When we calculate your retirement benefit amount, we use your best 35 years of earnings. We’ll increase your benefit amount if your new year of earnings is higher than one of the years we used to calculate your initial benefit amount. To see how we calculate your benefits, see our publication, Your Retirement Benefit: How It’s Figured.

An increased benefit amount for yourself could mean more support for your family, too, through Social Security spousal benefits, child benefits, and survivor benefits.

We also encourage you to set up your own online my Social Security account so you can verify your lifetime earnings record, check the status of an application for benefits, and manage them after you’re receiving them. You can create your personal my Social Security account today.

Social Security is committed to helping you prepare for a secure today and tomorrow for you, your family, and future family. You can access all of our retirement resources on our Retirement Benefits page.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Dan

    What can one do if there on ssd?

  2. Catherine Surgick

    I retired early but came back to work. I am 69 and I have been back at work since 2010. I am looking at leaving the workforce again in 2018 when I turn 70 years old. I will still work part time in order to make ends meet. Will my Social Security be recalculated?

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Catherine. Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement benefits, your monthly benefit amount may increase. As long as you continue to work and receive benefits, we will check your record every year to see whether the additional earnings will increase your monthly benefit. If there is an increase, we will send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  3. Paulina Fajeraizen

    I have big problem with my Quotes in social Security in 2009 I be disabile with PTHD also have a new desease in my spine,afecten my spine,I need increase my income please I need information.
    Paulina

  4. MrTakaphan T Jaruhungsin

    My retirement plane.gov start pay on 01/01/2018 my early 63+9 ages thank sir, for assistance my case order on 112/01/2017

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      For your security, we do not have access to personal information in this venue. We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact their local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps.
      Just a reminder – please be cautious about posting personal information on social media and communicating personal information via email. Thanks!

  5. luis

    thank you for the information…!

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thank you, Luis! We’re pleased we can help. We will continue our efforts to meet your requirements and expectations in the years to come.

  6. Willie Hurt

    How much money can I make

  7. paul hamilton

    thank you

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      We appreciate your thoughts, Paul. Thanks for your comment!

  8. John Fraher

    I just receive $90 a month in Social Security. When my wife turns 66 (3 years) she will file for her Social Security benefits. How can I switch from my monthly retirement to 50% spouse of hers?

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi John! To see if you qualify for a higher benefit amount on your wife’s record, you will have to contact us, when she files for her retirement benefits. Visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for more information. Thanks.

      • gerald blizzard

        ray read this and saw john making 90 dollars a month and said?..hi john? bullshit…

  9. Justin Tucker

    Does anyone at the SSA plan on addressing the rediculous backlog that claimants face? A good family friend has been waiting for over 3 years. She has Multiple Scerosis cannot walk and is in the hospital several times a year.

    How someone like that has to wait years and years is absolutely absurd and a disgrace to taxpayers.

    Currently her decision is waiting to be written. Her hearing was several months ago, and she has been living in poverty for the last few years.

    What gives?

  10. Nilsa

    Is it true that seniors social security is taxed and why? It seems the seniors should be the ones getting something more out of it after “lending” it to the government for who knows what projects they’ve done.
    Another form the government can reimburse seniors is by giving them better health insurance.

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Nilsa. Some people have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits.

      • Cat

        The “substantial income” is based on nationwide averages, apparently. But if you are in a high cost city what is considered “substantial” is higher than in other areas. Taxing 85% of Social Security when a pension and some work income adds up above 34K for a single person is excessive and then means the person has to work MORE to make up the difference. In my area making 34K puts you at poverty level…..

        • Larry

          I am one of those people 69 years of age and still working and still paying my Social Security every payday, so, why isn’t that taken into consideration and either discontinue paying Social Security one my earning or paying the SSA 85% of my SSA retirement benefits that is part of a tax anyway

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