The Best Age for YOU to Retire

May 12, 2015 • By

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Last Updated: May 12, 2015

A smiling older man outside holding binoculars You may be trying to figure out what the most beneficial age is to say goodbye to your colleagues at the office. This is one of the most important and challenging decisions you’ll make in your life. When you decide to retire affects not only you, but it could have serious, long-lasting consequences for your family members, too. The answer is not the same for everybody, and I’m going to share some information that can help you make an informed decision based on your own personal situation.

If you delay receiving your Social Security until age 70, the monthly amount is 32 percent more than you would get at full retirement age.

From a Social Security standpoint, you can start getting lower benefits as early as age 62, or you can delay retirement up to age 70 for your maximum monthly benefit amount.

For example: Let’s say your full retirement age for Social Security benefits is 66, and your monthly benefit at that age is $1,000. Here’s what your monthly benefit would be, starting at different ages:

* Age 62 = $750
* Age 63 = $800
* Age 64 = $866
* Age 65 = $933
* Age 66 = $1,000
* Age 67 = $1,080
* Age 68 = $1,160
* Age 69 = $1,240
* Age 70 = $1,320

At age 62, your benefit amount is about 25 percent lower than your full benefit at age 66. If you delay receiving your Social Security until age 70, the monthly amount is 32 percent more than you would get at full retirement age. From 62 to 70, that comes to a monthly increase of $570 or $6,840 a year.

When to retire is a personal decision that you should base on factors such as your current cash needs, your health, and family longevity, whether you have other retirement income sources, and of course, your anticipated future financial needs and obligations. Remember, the average retirement will last for about 20 years, and Social Security benefits are typically adjusted annually for inflation to help maintain your standard of living. For more information, visit

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Ray

    You should have received an adjustment when you turned 66 years of age which would reduce percentage reduction applied to your benefits when you initially filed. SS does this automatically. You should have received a notice advising you of new amounts.

  2. Pedro

    It is true that your pension will increase if you delay your retirement but that assumes I believe, that you will continue to work after your official retirement age. In my case, I reached retirement age two years ago but stopped working and, therefore, I am not contributing to SS. I believe this circumstance will negatively affect my pension, meaning I will not receive more when I am 70 years old. Any comments?

    • David

      Not actually true… SS uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate the amount that you will receive. If you delay taking the SS until age 70, the amount would still increase. However, you should consider how much you would not collect between age 66 thru age 70 if you delay. That would be 4 years or 48 monthly checks of whatever your check amount would be at age 66. Then you can check to see what the check amount would be at age 70. The difference between 66 and 70 divided into the total of those 48 checks will tell you how long it will take for you to make up what would have been lost by delaying. In my case (see above) it would have been 13.33 years.

    • James L.

      Thanks for starting a great conversation here, Pedro! While it’s true that higher total lifetime earnings may result in higher retirement benefits, your benefits will increase automatically by a certain percentage if you have delayed receiving benefits. These increases, called delayed retirement credits, are added in automatically from the time a person reached full retirement age until he or she begins receiving benefits or until reaching age 70. To learn more about these automatic delayed retirement credits, go to

      • John A.

        Thanks for all of the info Mr. LaPaglia. Here’s a twist on what has been discussed already — I know that if I wait to collect Social Security at my FRA (66) and then continue to work SSA will refigure my benefit every year due to the “high-35” years of earnings (this of course assumes my earnings are increasing). But, will the benefit only increase because of this, or will it also increase each year due to the “delayed retirement credits.” In my particular case, I will get 100 percent of my benefit at 66, but 132 percent if I wait until 70. If I start collecting at 66, will my benefit increase each year only because my “high-35” goes up, or will it also go up by 8 percent per year to account for the delayed retirement credit? Thanks

        • James L.

          John, if you start collecting benefits at your full retirement age (66), you do not get delayed retirement credits. Social Security delayed retirement credits are granted only if you delay your receiving benefits beyond your full retirement age. You do not receive any delayed retirement credits after age 70, even if you continue to delay receiving benefits. If you begin receiving retirement benefits at your full retirement age and continue working, you may get increases based on your work activity. For more information, please read Delayed Retirement Credits and Getting Benefits While Working.

  3. pabcurtin

    Are you nuts to wait until 70??? Do you know what’s it’s like to be an old woman working in an IT environment? Plus, SS probably won’t be around when I’m 70! Very bad advice.

  4. pb

    My SS DECREASED because from 64-66 I worked part time…then retired at 66. SS took out a whole month of my SS and I did not get paid that check. I wrote and called they never gave me back my money!

    • David

      If you continue to work and you took your SS early, there is a maximum on what can be earned and a penalty if you earn more than the maximum allowed ($1 for every $2 over I believe). Once you reach full retirement age, that earning restriction goes away and your SS is placed back to the original amount. Plus if the annual earning for those years that you continued to work were higher than any of the 35 years used to calculate your retirement amount, the amount would be recalculated using that year(s). SS uses your highest 35 years of earnings to determine you amount.

      • Theresa

        You would think so, but from what I’ve read & read again & again, your PIA does not change. And you only get very little as the higher wages are not indexed. Say in 1965 your wages are indexed @ a certain %age rate, that same percentage does not apply when substituting 1965 for 1992 wages. Also when SS figures your rate, it stops 2 years prior to turning 62 & the indexing ends in 1990. If I am wrong, I welcome any corrections! They make it so hard i.e. 35 years = 420 months to calculate AIME, then multiply 90% of permissible amt. of AIME, then multiply 32% of the next perm. amt. & finally 15% over & above the 2nd amount. Then you have bend points. Also you are supposed to be allowed to adjust your PIA between 66 & 70 with allowable COLA added as well. But in real life, “they” don’t even know nor care & will tell your are wrong no matter if show them in black & white, they’ll always come up w/ an excuse, believe me I tried! Like I said tell me if I am not understanding. I’ve downloaded all materials, tried every which way to reach their figures even with the penalty for being 62 & like I said she was told she must take the higher amt @ 62 & does not receive a widows benefit, just her $864.00 for over 65 years of work.

  5. Ginger

    KS…right on!

  6. Mary

    I also heard that after you start receiving SS checks, your annual gross income from part time job (say, you get bored and tired of sitting at home) cannot be more than $14,000, which boils down to $1,166 per month. Is that still correct?

    What about your rental income?

    • Ginger

      Mary– If you are FULL RETIREMENT
      AGE, there is no income restriction–and if you are not FRA, you will have the income restriction but the minute you reach the FRA, the restriction goes away.

      • Peggy

        Ginger, thanks for putting facts correctly and clearly for Mary. It is important. Therefore Mary should have already read the same info for herself (We do have an obligation to read what our gov orgs distribute to keep us informed about what happened… what the org did that may cause adverse or positive impact upon us. For example Ginger, the same info you just repeated for Mary is also stated earlier in this blog by 2 different, informed people. Mary, like millions of other Americans who don’t do anything or much to HELP THEM SELVES such as read the facts about important issues and benefits (i.e., SS), that are well publicized, expensively distributed to us ALL and then reprinted and re-issued to us by so many other charity orgs, investment svcs, etc, etc. It’s not easy to be UNINFORMED about SS provisions, restrictions and related details… people like Mary must work at remaining ignorant. It’s annoying to constantly keep getting the same BASIC questions here, at political meetings, community info public gatherings, etc… there’s always no-nothings who will never bother to read any tiny print, or any government proclamation from SS… because they are too lazy, because the text looks lengthy… yet the “happily uninformed” are first to complain, regress to name-calling and resentment of people who they think are slackers. Can we try to help ourselves here, using this BLOG AS A TOOL, a hopeful access to someone of import at SS and maybe other fed orgs who CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, help actually solve some of the less fair new SS changes… instead of wasting our time writing to each other about SS changes that we should ALL AT LEAST KNOW ABOUT and have a talking knowledge of. This blog is ACCESS, lets use it… lets not waste and squander it on little annoyances. If you read this far, thanks.

        • Lynne

          Peggy, Chill out…some folks aren’t quite as educated as you seem to be. And yes, there are still some adults that have a great deal of difficulty in their reading and writing.

          • John

            Some of us have blurred vision also.

        • Kay

          Back off Peggy…you are the one regressing to name calling such as ignorant, lazy, and ‘no’ nothings. Like Lynn said, there are many older people that don’t have a lot of education or even know how to use the internet. I’m sure you scared a few off here with your rant.

        • Theresa

          My other was not given a choice! My dad died in 1962, I was 3, she got $25.00 a month for me & same for her. She worked from 1946 till 2014 (she had too & still would be except she broke her shoulder working 40 hrs. a week @ 8.19 hr, same job for over 20 years washing dishes) When she turned 62 in 1992, they made her take her benefit over her widows because it was the larger amt. (my dad was 70 when he died) So for her having worked over 65 years continuously was a must just to survive, she gets less than $900 a month! She paid an extra 20+ years intoall listed SS/ twice for Medicare, out of wages & out of her SS chk (now has to pay an extra $50.00 to keep her doc & plans are far & few between here/ Fed taxes. She’s worked almost long enough to receive 2 checks. She was not highly educated growing up in the 1930’s having to quit school to help support the family & always just worked to keep a roof over our head & food on the table, all the while be too trusting, thinking SS knows better than her. It just ticks me off when people who are knowledgeable & instead of maybe giving back they put down honest, hard working, low waged (& yes not even a diploma) workers! As well as all the freebies given to undeserving people! My mother chose the high road, no food stamps, no welfare, no reduced lunches, credit cards for Emergency room visits. “Personal Responsibility” thinking all the while she was doing everything right, NOT, thanks Gov’t! Though we didn’t have everything we wanted, we had what we needed & she has more integrity in her pinky finger than your pointing finger! I know SS won’t be there for me, I’m only 54, yet I have enough credits & years now to be qualified for it! I’m not whining, but bitchin’, I can deal w/ my circumstances, but my mother deserves so much more! Also why should millionaire politicians get pensions? Esp. former Pres.(s) benes galore, being worth 100’s of millions & still take every dime they can squeeze out of us! They’ll never spend all the money sucked from us, but they’ll point that same finger at the private sector. Elitist Hypocrisy who never had to choose between meds & bills. SMH Oh & a lot has changed since 1992.

          • Theresa

            ^^MOTHER, oops

          • Steve

            Deserves!?, there’s that lovely word certain people like to throw around! What she DESERVES is what she put in, and for the people she sacrificed for and took care of, to take care of her now when she needs it!

        • Debi

          Peggy, you ARE AN ANNOYING bitch~!!

    • James L.

      Hi Mary! Thanks for chiming in. If you receive retirement benefits, and you are working, but still under full retirement age, the yearly limit of your wages in 2015 is $15,720. If you attain full retirement age in 2015 that amount changes to $41,880. There are no limits on how much you can earn once you attain your full retirement age. To learn more go to We only count the gross amount of your wages. Rental income is not considered “wages” and does not affect your Social Security benefits. You can also learn more about how work affects your benefits at

      • guest

        James, you are not quite correct in your statement. There are no restrictions on how much someone can earn. A person can earn whatever they like –However, the SS benefits will be reduced or completely offset if they earn more than the limits you mentioned above. There are many people who earn over the limits and are still able to collect some SS benefits in the year, so it is irresponsible to imply that people can’t make more than those limits. Check the SSA website for how earnings affect benefits.

        • Lysander

          You’re arguing semantics; everything you mentioned is assumed.

    • Mary A.

      It’s $15,700 now

  7. Ginger

    I started by SS benefits at 66 and have continued to work. I get an adjustment provided the yearly income amount is larger the prior year. I am a State employee-the State has not given us a raise for almost 5 years now, my benefit amount has not increased other than COLA increases (if there is one…)

  8. KS

    What you fail to mention is that the loss of delaying SS is greater than the gain of waiting if you don’t live long enough. For me, according to my latest social security statement. I lose $115k in payments if I delay from 62 to 67. If I delay to 70, I lose $184k. In order to make that back and get to breakeven, I would need to live until 90. Yes, 90! Since my average life expectancy is about 85 and my family medical history is sketchy, I doubt I will live to 90. But even if I do and reach breakeven, how much longer will I live beyond that? It’s not worth waiting people. Do the math and you will see. You must subtract out the years of payments you lose when you delay.

    • CSE

      Yes, you do have to factor in how much you lose if you delay benefits. My sister died at age 64. She would have been able to draw full benefits at age 65. Never got anything!

    • David

      But you should also consider, if you are a higher earner spouse, that the lesser earner will receive your higher ss amount if you delay and pre-decease her/him.

      • Dennis

        David is exactly right. The higher earner’s benefit becomes the total SS income for couple when he dies. To maximize that income for the survivor the higher earner should consider waiting until age 70. Even if he dies at age 71 the benefit increase for the spouse may exceed the loss of age 62 to age 70 income the higher earner could have taken by filing early.

    • Da K.

      To KS :

      You are “On The MONEY”.

      I filed to begin at age 65 & 3mo & came to the same colclusion. Now, at age 76 I’ve found my Conclusion to be Accurate..

    • David

      You are correct…. I took my SS at 66 yrs which was my full benefit age.
      My SS check is approx. $2100 / month. If I had waited until age 70, I would have given up $100,800 in payments. the additional amount for waiting until age 70 would have been approx. $630/month. It would have taken me about 13.33 years to make up that loss and I would have been nearly 84 years old. Plus, I could still collect SS at 66 and work w/o a maximum or penalty and my SS would be adjusted for every year that I made more than the lowest year in the 35 years used to calculate my SS amount. SS uses your highest 35 years of wages to calculate you retirement amount. Once you reach your maximum benefit retirement year, mine was 66, there is no maximum earning amount or penalty involved.

      • Mike

        Except you didn’t allow for inflation over the years. The extra adjustment over that 13 years including the $630 would have shaved off another 2+ years, so if you think you’ll live to at least 81, you’d be better off delaying taking until age 70.

        • mg

          They also did not include any annual increase so you can now add back in those 2 years.

          • ellen

            This year no cost of living increase, so that can happen offened

      • Davette

        Yes, I just did the math. At 84 or so is when the delay til 70 starts becoming more profitable. However, if you are still working at 66, you can invest more and pay more off your mortgage for the 4 years until you reach 70.

        • gkp

          If you dtill have a mortgage at 66 its a shame – retirement not eally an option is it?

          • Steve

            When i retire at 64 my income will almost double, so it wouldn’t change my options at all! The fact that my mortgage was paid off by 50 just makes the option a little sweeter!

      • Texconsin

        Plus, investing early benefits (or not spending other investments in its place) can take that catch-up time from 13.33 years to INFINITY if you can earn 8% on it. I did an Excel and even with the 8.33% annual increase from 66 to 70, benefits at 70 will NEVER catch up. Social Security Administration (retired) brother says to take it as soon as it’s no longer offset by earned income.

    • Ed

      KS, I suggest you check your math. Schwab has a table that says if you collect at 66 v 62, your breakeven age is 77-78; if you collect at 70 v. 62, breakeven is 80-81 years old; if you collect at 70 v. 66, breakeven is 83-84 years old. That agrees with everything I’ve read over the years.

      • KS

        Ed- My Math is for my specific benefits in my social security statement. The Schwab table doesn’t know anyones specific payouts. Only general payouts.

      • Ronald

        One cannot assume they will live to a certain age. That is the fallacy in every table or piece of advice that that suggests waiting. Waiting is a benefit only to the Government in the long run.

        • Ray

          My parents are 90 and 91 and in good health. We just celebrated the 100th of my aunt. That’s a long time with a reduced benefit!

          • Texconsin

            If they invested it at a good rate or didn’t spend other investments while waiting to take SS, they may have come out far better than waiting. The catch up myth is just that – it looks at real dollars and not the opportunity cost or time value of the lower amount taken early. SSA is going to tell you whatever they can to keep the money and hope you croak. My brother who retired from SSA after 25 years says to take the money as soon as you don’t have income offset (in other words as soon as you quit work OR at FRA…not 4 years later at 70).

    • Robert

      You are truly right about the difference. I took mine at 62 and am happy. but here is another thing they don’t want to talk about what happens to all the paid-in money to people who die before they receive any of “Their” money back that they paid in? should that not be in “THEIR Estate” after all they paid it in and it should be theirs. then I have/had a mom and Dad who died before they ever got on cent and I also have 3 children who died before the ever got one cent also. then we here all the time about SS going broke, had congress not stolen our money I would be getting over $3,000. a month in place of $900. We continually about ss going broke but never ever here about Welfare and food stamps or any of the Gimme free deals going broke. We paid and worked for our retirement and they never paid a dime and now we also here of the illegals getting everything for free and still pay no taxes.

      • txcajun

        One of the terrible aspects of the pending bankruptcy of the SS fund is that it is made worse by all of the decisions to include disability benefits to people at rates much higher than they have earned. ……Foreigners and those taking a ‘free ride’ are running the system we paid for broke!

      • Moses

        Sorry to hear about your losses.I agree with you Robert. Where does the money go? I do believe the remainder monies should be paid put to the families since the money has been paid into their social security. Maybe it would be a great policy bill to start?

        • SuziQ

          Folks sorry to say SS is not a guaranteed retirement account. It is a program just like food stamps or welfare. You meet the criteria, you get it – if not, you don’t. You are supporting the larger community each time they take out the payroll deduction tax.

          • bj

            Bull. When I pay over $300 a month towards social security and medicare, they most certainly are guaranteed, I expect to get a check sometime after age 62. While I have other retirement savings, I am still counting on social security as part of the equation. I don’t believe there are any deductions on my paystub for welfare or food stamps, they are meant to be temporary solutions if you “meet the criteria.” I also agree that illegals or people who do not pay in, should not take out, only exceptions being American Citizens who are mentally or physically disabled. I don’t mind some of my money supporting that part of the “larger community.”

      • Richard

        I agree with you about the estate being paid the balance of what was paid into SS plus interest. Having said this you might remember Bush tried to introduce a concept that SS payments be put in an account for each individual that could not be touched until they reach the maximum retirement age. If the individual passes away the estate would be paid the amount in the account. This was to ensure that congress could not tap into these accounts ever again.Congress and individuals who are already retired & drawing SS screamed like a stuck pig. Congress put the fear of God in those individuals telling them that Bush would take away their SS benefits. This was far from the truth. But Congress needed SS to fund their pet projects. Look it up. Look at these responses , people are wandering why they are not receiving the money that the individual paid into? You had a chance to overhaul SS but failed to act. Will you get another chance. I doubt it.

      • JW

        It sounds like you’ve had a rough time. Social Security Insurance works like any other insurance. It’s sharing the risk. Many people insure their homes and never make a claim. But their money is not returned when they sell their home; it goes into a pool and is used to pay claims for those who experience a theft or whose home is burned down. Social Security is the same. Many people who come to the US illegally work and pay into Social Security but are never able to collect on it because of their undocumented status.

        • Lysander

          So now SS is considered to be an “Insurance Policy”?

        • VMR

          Jw,you are so right , people with undocumented status is being cheated out there SS and so are there children.

          • Charlie

            Let’s quit calling “illegal” undocumented. They shouldn’t be here and are takers of our system. The fact that they may has paid social security taxes on their illegal wages, too damn bad.

      • Daniel

        Thank you Robert you were spot-on. I think a lot of people in this country are fed up with politicians taking our money and giving it to those that are undeserving and of course lining their own pockets Pockets with benefits

      • Diana

        Agreed Robert ………… I did the same thing you did … better use it now than continue to have it diluted to the point that I might not ever receive anything close to what I should be receiving.

      • Steve

        Social security is not a retirement account, it is basically senior welfare. The account needs that money to pay spouses based on the higher earners income whether they contributed ANYthing or not, and the fine people who didn’t pay much in if any, and judging by your benefit amount that includes you! Now you feel that YOU should benefit from your family’s hard work or unfortunate circumstances before strangers, which is somewhat understandable, but not how welfare works.

        • TomB

          NO! It is not, nor has it ever been WELFARE!
          It IS and always has been an insurance policy!

          • Steve

            Yep, just like welfare.

        • John

    • janell

      I definitely recommend collecting earlier!! You don’t know how long you live. What the above math forgets is that if you collect at age 62 you HAVE $72,000 already collected when you turn 70! You have to live until more than 81 to start ‘making money”. Money is WAY more fun at 62 than 81!!

      • John

        After visiting a few nursing homes and assisted living centers, I decided to retire early at 57 and I plan to select my Social Security at 62. I do not have money to go out to eat or splurge with but I am stress free and take life on my time. I am at peace and that is something I have worked hard for in factories my entire working life. Without the stress of daily fighting machines on my job, traffic on my drive to work, a zero tolerance attendance policy, and bully bosses, I feel I will live longer and happier life.

        • Larry D.

          You are the best advice here!! Thank you for talking about our slave like existence caused by big buisiness….everyone seems to be afraid!!!

        • Steve

          A shorter happier life maybe! You are the worst advice here! The people who talk like you and have that victim I work so hard and sacrificed for my company complaint are without exception the laziest by far at my workplace. Usually complaining while they’re kicked back with their feet up doing nothing. Funny I’ve NEVER heard someone who’s worked hard and put forth the extra effort for the big extras in life like “eating out” complain how they had to work so hard to achieve a little success, like the ability to “eat out”. Maybe brag about working hard but not complain.

        • Sean

          Thanks John for your idea and I called it a GREAT ADVICED . I planned to retire at 66 but will retire next year at 63.

        • bubbly b.

          you are very wise!

    • AHM@FB


    • TomL

      Do the math on this carefully, because there is a lot at stake. You also need to consider if you will have a higher tax rate if you take SS while you are still working. And most importantly, what will you do with the money? SSA gives you an 8% compounded return every year you delay. Can you really equal that return in this crummy stock market?

      • Jeff

        Crummy stock market?
        DOW 18000 today. Perhaps crummy stock picks.

    • Kathy

      Thanks for the explanation. I have been struggling with this concept after a friend mentioned it.

  9. Mike

    What is the catch 62 law?

    • Ed B.

      If you Google “catch 62” you will find many helpful articles. Federal workers with military service are potentially affected by this. If it is not already too late, you should look into buying back your military service, which is usually a good deal.

  10. Clyde G.

    i retired at age 66 but continued to work and pay social security. Will my retirement continue to increase because of the additional payments?

    • Barbara

      I don’t think so. Your benefit is based on when you start collecting and then you will get any cost of living adjustments. I think you are subject to income tax on the Social Security and your regular income.

      • a

        If you “don’t think so” why do you feel you need to be the one to answer 12 minutes later.

        • Anthony S.

          Can I retire at the age of 45 I have been working for a total of 25 years at 45 years old I will have been working for a total of 30 years can I retire at 45 please reply.

          • Ray F.

            Hi Anthony. The earliest age you can apply for reduced retirement benefits is 62. You can create a My Social Security account to review your earnings record and get an estimate of your future benefits.

          • Texconsin

            Actually, you may retire anytime you wish.

          • Leroy b.

            You can retire any time you want, just don’t expect Uncle Sam to pay until you are 63 , haha

        • josh

          gosh calm down

        • Judy B.

          My SS check goes up every year.

        • Tony

          That was awesome!

        • PayTheReaper

          What a snippy troll bastard.

      • Renton

        Can you please tell the politicians in Washington DC to keep their hands off Social Security! My employers and I were the ones that contributed to that fund NOT the government! If I took the amount I actually put into SS.. I would be way better off than the measly monthly stipend I currently get!

        • g k.

          No you wouldnt the yearly maximum ee and er contribution is a little over $14400

          MOST persons do not contribute the Maximum but even if they did they would not save or invest that amount if it was not being deducted; and since most ss recipients receive at at least $1000 to $1200 /month you can easily determine the fallacy of your statement wjen applied to the general ss recipient

          • Remo

            Why can’t I get what I put in? After all I worked for it and it is my money so why is the government telling me how much a month I can get?

          • P

            This statement is BS based on the amount of years one pays in SS compared to the average 20 years one collects. You will put in at least 2 times the amount you will get back in retirement.

        • chuck


          • didgett

            read my post a few posts down. My sentiments exactly. It is your money.

          • bdoel

            Actually, you may retire anytime you wish. Visit hazardous waste

        • didgett

          Actually, if the government would have left their greedy hands off ss all together, put it into an individual, interest bearing account for each person, I believe people would have a decent , livable ss ck to retire on. I have writing my congressman about this. We have given to so many other countries and other people who have not even worked much here in this country, it is sad. I am beginning to believe government does not care about people when they get older. Sad sad sad.

          • Scott R.


          • P

            They really don’t care about the elderly. That is why they keep raising the retirement age in hopes they only pay you for a few years if that many.

        • Jack

          you’re exactly right on the politicians! They should have kept their hands off of it. They couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. That’s what’s wrong. They are all liars and crooks. People, they don’t care about you! All they care about is their party!

        • JC P.

          You are absolutely correct, the politicians continue to think and tell people that Social Security is funded by the government when in fact we pay into the program along with our employers.

      • maggie

        yes you get extra money each year you continue working

        • didgett

          Not much, and it is eaten up by increase in Insurance and medicare

          • ed k.

            if i start taking SS at 62 and say i am getting 1000 a month . if i continue to work till say 67 or 70 , will the benefit ever go up because i will still be paying SS ?

          • Ray F.

            Thank you for your question Ed. As long as you continue to work, even if you are receiving benefits, you will continue to pay Social Security taxes on your earnings. However, we will check your record every year to see whether the additional earnings you had will increase your monthly benefit. To learn more, visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page.

        • JC P.

          Yes, you do but only $10.00 more a month while you are still paying for Fica every week, it is a rip off.

      • Marc

        Why are you giving misinfomation? You have no idea of the answer.

    • DR L.

      Yes your benefit increases. I also started collecting at age 66 (Aug) and continued working. Thereafter, I received a letter in Oct stating what my new benefit would be.

      • james

        Even if my income remains about the same, will there be any increase in SS

        • Ellie M.

          I retired 1yr and 4mo before the age of 65. My day of birth is 2/3/1941. I called SS before I retired and was told that the sooner I retired the more money I would get because my longevity was uncertain. I was forced to go back to work 4yrs later. I Called and asked SS to stop my SS security benefits and was told that I would have to pay all that money back. Was this correct information:

      • Judith W.

        Could this be a cost of living adjustment?

    • Guy K.

      Yes, if your latest earnings are more than some of your earlier earnings and increase the cumulative total.

    • James L.

      Great question, Clyde. Each year we review the records for all Social Security recipients who work and will refigure your benefit, if applicable. Your work activity or wages can affect your Social Security benefits until the month that you attain full retirement age. To learn how your wages affect your benefits prior to when you attain your full retirement age go to You can also learn more about how work affects your benefits at

      • Mary

        If I can’t find work and I am 62–if I don’t take the social security, will the amount of my benefit go down?

        • Ray F.

          Thank you for your question, Mary. The amount of benefits you receive is established at the time you applied for Retirement Benefits. It is based on the amount of your average lifetime earnings and your age at the time you applied. Generally, we use the highest years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. Remember that the earliest age you can apply for retirement benefits is 62. However, if you start benefits early, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age.
          When you are ready, you can complete the online application in as little as 15 minutes. Also, you can create a My Social Security account to review your earnings record and get an estimate of your future benefits. If you have specific questions, you can call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for assistance. Representatives are available between 7a.m. and 7p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

          • Ronald

            Everyone should start taking their Social Security at age 62. If you wait you may never receive all the money you deferred. There is a limit to how long you will live. Most people don’t want to admit that and many die before getting a dime. Take it while you can.

          • Ray F.

            The decision on when to apply for benefits is a personal one. We can only provide you with the information to help you make the best choice according to your own situation. The Social Security Retirement Planner provides detailed information about Social Security retirement benefits under current law. Individuals can create a “My Social Security” account to review their earnings record and get an estimate of their future benefits. Thanks!

          • Elissa M.

            If you have longevity in your family and not a lot of savings, waiting until 70 is often a better choice. My family’s life expectancy is 94. It’s a long time from 62 to 94 with a loss of $500 plus per month in spending power.
            With our country’s current national debt dilemma, cost of living increases could disappear.
            The more I’m eligible for, the more I’ll have left when the Congress gets done.

          • remo

            Hey Ray, question was if I retire but do not take SS. Will my monthly check be reduced when I do decide to take it?

          • Jean L.

            You just said SS benefits ‘is based on the amount of your average lifetime earnings’ followed by ‘Generally, we use the highest years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount.’ That confuses me. Which is it? I am also 63 and want to wait until 66 but may not have income next year. Will that be a negative?

          • Ray F.

            Thank you for contacting us again Jean. For retirement benefits, we use the highest 35 years of earnings to compute an individual’s benefit amount. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If there were some years you didn’t work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you worked steadily. You can use our online Retirement Estimator to get immediate and personalized retirement benefit estimates to help you plan for your retirement. The online Retirement Estimator is a convenient and secure financial planning tool that eliminates the need to manually key in years of earnings information. The estimator will also let you create “what if” scenarios. You can, for example, change your “stop work” dates or expected future earnings to create and compare different retirement options. In addition, we have a variety of other calculators to help you plan for the future. Which calculator you choose depends on what you want to do. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks!

      • Harry B.

        Saying “Your work activity or wages can affect your Social Security benefits *until the month that you attain full retirement age*” is very very misleading. Even after full retirement age, working can still increase your monthly social security retirement benefit.

      • pat

        Im 64 and retiring my birth date is 11 27 52 will this hurt or help me

        • Ray F.

          There are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to retire, the decision on when to file is a personal one. We can only provide you with the information to help you make the best choice according to your own situation. Keep in mind that if a person begins to receive benefits prior to their full retirement age, their benefit amount is reduced. To help you plan, you can estimate the amount of your own benefit using our online calculators. You can also create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, and get a copy of your Social Security Statement. If you need further assistance call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We hope this helps!

    • Shella

      Yes, it will depanding how much you are making.

    • John

      If I signed up 3months before I turn 66,when do I get the first check?.

      • Krissi S.


        I am trying to decide if I could retire at the age of 64. I went to my page on my SS account page where the estimated benefit of 1229.00 is quoted if retiring at the age of 63.

        However, when I did the quick calculator it reduced the above amount. I am confused.


    • Billy

      If you take your retirement benefits while still working and paying FICA taxes, SSA will adjust your SS benefit upward according to how much you worked. Paying into the FICA increases your benefit even when you take your SS retirement.

    • Maryrobin

      Yes you do get more money if you work while retired. Your still,paying in SSI. I got an increase in my benefits for working p/t.

      • Ray F.

        Thank you for your comment Maryrobyn. Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement (or survivors) benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits.

    • Susie

      The representative at the social security benefit office said “yes”

    • maggie

      yes you will get extra credit each year that you continue working.

    • Sandra A.

      I have friend at work that started her ss at 66 and she continues to work and each year her ss goes up. Told her they have to pay her back for money she is having taken out on her checks for ss, they can’t keep it.

    • pearl


    • Joe A.

      I worked 11 years after receiving Social Security at 62 starting 400 as of now 6:45 a month never received an increase I have it coming

    • Maryann

      So when I am 62 and choose to get my ss benefits, can I continue working reasonable salary or is there a max salary I can earn im order to receive my ss benefits?

      • Ray F.

        Thank you for your question Maryann. You can still work and receive your Social Security retirement benefits at the same time. However, if you are younger than full retirement age (currently age 66) and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we will reduce your benefit. For 2017 that limit is $16,920. This limit changes in the year you reach full retirement age. To learn more, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page. If you have additional questions, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and talk with one of our representatives.

    • will

      Im not sure how to post on this Im doing it under a reply in hopes somebody will see it and be able to help me out.. My mother has paid into ss this year and is hoping to retire in the next few years. she has enough write offs to get most her ss paid in back, if she does this will this effect her ss benies when she does retire? last year she got it all back and i told her im not sure thats a good idea because she was told she had to work a few more years to retire
      any feed back would be great thank you

      • Ann C.

        Thanks for your question. If you’re referring to Retirement Benefits, individuals generally need to have 40 credits, or 10 years of work paying Social Security taxes, to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. For disability benefits, one generally needs to have worked for five out of the last 10 years before becoming disabled. The rules are different for younger workers who become disabled or die. For a complete explanation of credits needed for the different types of benefits, check out our Benefits Planner: Social Security Credits. Additionally, if an individual is eligible to retire at age 62, we use the highest 35 years of earnings to compute an individual’s benefit amount. If the individual does not have 35 years of earnings, we will use all of the earnings on the record. We will factor in an annual total of $0.00 earnings for each of the remaining years. We hope this information helps.

    • Diane

      Yes, it will probably increase some as the baseline they use will include higher income years. BUT, I don’t think you get the yearly 8% increases. I keep getting conflicting information on that.

    • Chris G.

      Hi Clyde – yes if you keep working you could potentially increase your benefits beyond the COLA:

      Hope that helps!


      Chris G.

    • Texconsin

      Yes, it will, but only if your earnings NOW fall into the top 35 years of INDEXED earnings. (That 25K you made in 1990 is going to be indexed to a significantly higher amount in current dollars.) So the answer is that it MAY. Those who spout off a decisive “yes” or “no” don’t have a brother who retired from SSA and they haven’t done their retirement planning as have I.

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