You have some choices to make when you are planning for retirement, and there are in fact some significant benefits that go along with working beyond the age of full Social Security eligibility.
First off, let’s look at the age of full eligibility. For those born in 1954 or earlier the full eligibility age is 66. People born in 1960 and after become eligible at the age of 67.
During that interim period things are a little more complicated. If you were born in 1955 you become eligible for your full benefit when you are 66 years and two months old. For people born in 1956 it goes up to 66 years and four months.
This pattern of adding two months per year continues until 1960.
You do not have to wait until you reach the age of full eligibility to start collecting a benefit. You can receive a reduced benefit when you are as young as 62. If you do start getting your benefit at 62 will get 30% less than you would have received had you waited until you reached the age of full eligibility.
Delaying your application for Social Security is another option, and it can be a fruitful one. If you were born in 1943 or at some point after that you will increase your benefit when you do start receiving it by 8% per year that you continue working beyond your age of full benefit eligibility.
It should be noted that you can only accrue delayed retirement credits until you reach the age of 70.
If you like what you do and you’re still capable of doing it you may well enjoy a more comfortable retirement if you wait as long as possible before applying for Social Security.