How Much Social Security Will I Get at Age 65?

You likely won’t get 100% of your Social Security retirement benefits; it depends on your full retirement age.
Roberta Pescow
By Roberta Pescow 
Edited by Tina Orem

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The average Social Security benefit amount for a retired beneficiary at age 65 was $1,525 per month in June 2023, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA)

. Your benefit depends on your earnings during your working years, your age at retirement, cost-of-living increases and whether you have a pension.

Why retirement age matters

Retiring at 65 is often considered "early" retirement for Social Security benefits. Most people can’t receive 100% of their Social Security retirement until they turn 66 or 67, depending on their full retirement age Retirement Benefits. Accessed Oct 6, 2023.

The SSA bases your full retirement age on the year you were born. If you retire earlier, the SSA will permanently reduce your benefits, but it’ll permanently increase your benefits if you wait until after you reach full retirement age to retire. Although other factors affect your monthly Social Security benefit, the first thing the SSA looks at is your age.

How much money you might lose by retiring at 65 depends on what your full retirement age is. The more time between when you retire and your full retirement age, the greater the reduction. For example, if you can earn 100% of your Social Security benefits when you are 66 years and 4 months old, the SSA will reduce your benefits by more if you retire at 65 years and 6 months than if you retired at 65 years and 10 months.

Estimate your Social Security retirement benefits

Your actual benefit may be lower or higher than estimate made with this calculator, because it does not take into account your actual earnings history.

We assume you have earnings every year until you begin receiving Social Security benefits. If you had several years of noncovered employment or your earnings changed significantly from year to year, this calculator will overestimate or underestimate your benefit.

Desired age to begin Social Security

You will qualify for benefits at age 62.

What happens if I retire before age 65?

You're eligible to start receiving Social Security at age 62, but that choice may reduce your monthly benefit by as much as 30%. The upside of early retirement is that you'll receive benefits for more total years than if you wait.

You'll receive your largest possible monthly benefit if you wait until you're 70 to claim Social Security, but you'll have fewer total years of receiving benefits. So before deciding, consider your current and future financial needs, health and life expectancy.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Did you know that Medicare Part B premiums are usually automatically deducted from your Social Security retirement checks? Learn more about how much Medicare actually costs.

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How much more will I get if I put off retirement?

For every month that you delay retirement after your full retirement age, the SSA increases your retirement benefits until you hit 70. How much your benefits increase depends on when you were born Delayed Retirement Credits. Accessed Oct 6, 2023.

Year of birth

Monthly increase

Annual increase


11/24 of 1%



1/2 of 1%



13/24 of 1%



7/12 of 1%



5/8 of 1%


1943 or later

2/3 of 1%


Source: Social Security Administration

The monthly increase stops once you turn 70.

If you continue to work after you begin to claim benefits — which you are allowed to do — the SSA will continue to monitor your earnings and may recalculate your benefits based on your earnings

. However, working while receiving Social Security benefits can reduce benefits if you are below full retirement age and make more than the annual earnings limit.

What else affects my Social Security benefit amount?

  • Your income. In general, the more money you've contributed to Social Security (through payroll taxes during your years of working), the higher benefit you'll get. Your income is calculated based on your 35 highest-earning years Social Security Benefit Amounts. Accessed Oct 6, 2023.
    . Those years don't have to be consecutive.

  • Your employment status. You can keep working while claiming Social Security benefits. However, if you retire early and earn more than a certain amount, the SSA will reduce your benefits. If you’re below full retirement age during all of 2023, the SSA will reduce your benefits by 50% for every dollar you earn over $21,240; if you reach your full retirement age during 2023, you’ll lose 30% of every dollar you make over $56,520 during the months that you were below the full retirement age How Work Affects Your Benefits. Accessed Oct 6, 2023.

  • Cost-of-living increases. The SSA makes annual cost-of-living adjustments to its benefits. The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2024 is 3.2%. You become eligible for cost-of-living benefit increases when you turn 62, even if you haven’t started receiving benefits. The SSA continues to factor the increases into the amount you'll receive, even if you wait until your full retirement age or later


  • Your pension eligibility.  If you qualify for a pension from a job that didn’t deduct Social Security taxes from your paychecks, the SSA will reduce your benefits. This reduction often affects public school teachers, for example Windfall Elimination Provision. Accessed Oct 6, 2023.

How to apply for Social Security

You can apply for Social Security (and ask any questions about your benefits) by calling the SSA national toll-free service at 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778). You can also make an appointment and visit your local Social Security office to apply in person


If you prefer, you can also apply online

Those living outside the U.S. or one of its territories can contact their closest U.S. Social Security office, U.S. Embassy or consulate.

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