What happens if I start collecting Social Security after full retirement age?
You’ll get a bigger check every month. However, how much bigger depends upon what year you reach full retirement age, and how long you postpone collecting benefits. If you were born in 1943 or later, you’ll receive 2/3 of 1% for each month that you delay collecting retirement benefits (8 percent more per year), up until age 70. So, for example, if your full retirement age is 66 and you delay collecting benefits for 4 years, your benefit at age 70 will be 32% higher than at age 66.
You can estimate your retirement benefit online based on your actual earnings record using the Retirement Estimator calculator on the Social Security website (www.ssa.gov). You can create different scenarios based on current law that will illustrate how different earnings amounts and retirement ages will affect the benefit you receive. You can also visit the website to sign up for a my Social Security account so that you can view your online Social Security Statement. Your statement contains a detailed record of your earnings, as well as estimates of retirement, disability, and survivor’s benefits. If you’re not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you’ll receive a statement in the mail every five years, from age 25 to age 60, and then annually thereafter.