What happens if I take my Social Security benefits while I am still working?

It depends on your age. If you are at or above your full retirement age, working will not reduce your Social Security benefit. If you are under your full retirement age, $1 of benefits is reduced for every $2 of wages you earn above $15,120. In the year in which you reach your full retirement age, from January 1st up until your birthday, $1 of your benefit is reduced for every $3 you earn above $40,080.

These limits apply to your wages only and do not count withdrawals from retirement accounts, dividends, interest, or other unearned income. The reduction also only applies to your own wages – it does not count your spouse’s wages. If you have reached your full retirement age, but your spouse has not, the earnings limit will not apply to your benefits.

What happens if I delay taking my Social Security benefits until after I reach full retirement age?

From your full retirement age until you reach age 70, for every year you delay taking your Social Security benefits, your benefits will increase by 8%. After age 70, while it is possible to delay taking your benefits, the 8% increase does not continue. This means there is no incentive to delay taking benefits after age 70.