Skip to main content

About us

We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Learn how the CFPB can help you

Should I claim my Social Security retirement benefits when I stop working?


It's important to research your options for when to claim Social Security. Claiming your Social Security benefits and leaving the workforce are two separate decisions.

You don't have to claim your benefits when you stop working, and you can continue to work even if you claim your benefits.

While many people choose to claim their benefits when they stop working, you can time these decisions in a way that's best for you.

When deciding when to stop work and when to claim your benefits, keep in mind:

  • If you claim your benefits before what the Social Security Administration calls the full retirement age , and you continue to work, your benefits are temporarily reduced through the Social Security earnings test if you earn over a specified amount. What many people do not know, however, is that once you reach full retirement age, Social Security recalculates your benefit and credits you for any month that you were affected by the earnings test. This means your Social Security payments are higher after you reach full retirement age.
  • Applying for Medicare is a separate decision. Typically, Medicare benefits are not available until you turn age 65. If you stop working before age 65, and you receive health insurance through your employer, you need to consider how to provide for your health coverage until you are eligible for Medicare. Unlike Social Security, you must apply for Medicare at age 65 or penalties could apply.

Other Resources:

Open a my Social Security account to see your full earnings record, and get a copy of your Social Security Statement.

Was this page helpful to you?

Please do not share any personally identifiable information (PII), including, but not limited to: your name, address, phone number, email address, Social Security number, account information, or any other information of a sensitive nature.

The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.