How Will Your Part-Time Income Affect Social Security?

Many Americans expect to continue working past traditional retirement age.

The Most Popular Ages to Claim Social Security

By taking your Social Security benefits at the last possible point – age 70 – you will capture 8 percent more annually, Fahlund says. That extra amount can help cushion market fluctuations that might affect the value of your other retirement accounts, she points out. "Social Security is not subject to the market. The amount you get is predictable and is determined by formulas. If you retire at age 70, it's a higher baseline," she says.

Essentially, you work a few years longer and get much more. That means you will have to earn that much less from your encore career, which would mean you have to be open to the possibility of working more for personal satisfaction than for cash flow.

"Then, working becomes more of a value judgment: Is this a hobby business, or can you charge less for your work?" Fahlund says. "You have the chance to downshift."