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I plan to start SS at 70 but retire at 65 how does this effect my Monthly Benefits Estimates?

Periodic Contributor

I plan to start SS at 70 but retire at 65 how does this effect my Monthly Benefits Estimates?

My Monthly Retirement Estimates state that at 70 I will get $3600 per month if I continue on my current yearly income. I am 64 and plan to retire at 65, but not pull SS until 70. I don't see where I can find what my SS income will be if I DON'T work and pull same yearly income till 70. Anyway to know this? Thanks.

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Social Butterfly


This is actually a calculable amount. But it may take some work to derive this. 


As you said, the online estimate assumes that you continue working to FRA at pretty much the same income. But if you "retire" (stop working) prior to your FRA then your PIA ("Primary Insurance Amount") is affected and will need to be recalculated. the PIA is based on the 35 years of highest income (adjusted for cost of living); so removing a few years at older ages, presumably some of the highest paying years, will have some effect.

You can use the SSA's online calculator (or "estimator") to get an estimate. You'll need to plug in your wage history, entering zeroes for the final few years until your FRA. You can get your wage history from your My Social Security log-in at the


Various estimators are available at You should use the Online Benefit Calculator from that page (direct link Enter your wage history in the table provided. You need to plug in your birthdate and other data. Then go to town.

Good luck!


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Social Butterfly

I've been wanting to quantify the decrease in estimated benefit for this situation. I wanted to create a sample set of data (wages) such that the PIA would match that described in the first post. I know exactly how to do this, but getting the time has been difficult (I need a free hour, which is difficult to obtain). 

But this morning I ran the SSA's software Anypia32.exe (installed on my computer) for my own situation. My current PIA is found to be $2,946 with my actual wage history. I zeroed out the final 4 years of wages; the FRA PIA dropped to $2,853. So, dropped a hundred bucks for bailing out early. Of course, in that parallel universe I was also "out" those 4 years of wages that would have been paying bills and the excess saved; but then I had 4 extra years to relax and enjoy.

Anyway, that may give some idea of how giving up work "early" might quantify to affect ones' Social Security benefit.

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Regular Social Butterfly

Hi, Jeff! Congratulations on you upcoming retirement!


This may help clarify: SSA: Early or Late Retirement (opens in new tab)


Also: Social Security Benefit Amounts (opens in new tab) 


Also, contact SSA via phone for exact information. They were very helpful when I did (although the wait can be long).





Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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