If you wait to start Social Security until your maximum retirement age, you can earn as much as you like. However, there are restrictions on how much you earn if you start your benefits early -- at age 62.
If you are interested in learning more about how your benefits would be affected if you work and are taking benefits before your "Full Retirement Age," visit Work and Social Security.
To learn more about what your full retirement age is, visit Find Your Retirement Age. http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/agereduction.htm
And, here is a pitch for delaying the start of Social Security:
if you wait until age 70 to start Social Security, your monthly benefit could be more than double what it was at 62. To maximize retirement income, many experts recommend retirees consider the following rule of thumb:
-- Don’t take Social Security at age 62 unless you have a very short life expectancy.
-- If you think that you will likely die before 80, start Social Security sometime between ages 65 and 67.
-- If you think that you will live beyond 85, delay the start of Social Security until you are 70.
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.