BY CARMEL SULLIVAN Social Security District Manager in Utica

Summertime is here, and that means blockbuster movies are in season. This summer — and throughout the end of the year — moviegoers can catch some of the usual heroes on the silver screen.

Take Batman. He’ll be back on the big screen in another surefire blockbuster. The superhero first gained fans in the comics back in 1939. He could be taking advantage of delayed retirement credits — the power to receive bigger payments for delaying retirement benefits beyond one’s full retirement age. The credit could be worth as much as eight percent a year until age 70. Learn more about this super power available to anyone at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/delayret.htm.

Dark Shadows will be making a big screen debut, based on the popular television series. The main character, Barnabas, is more than two centuries old. Surely, he would qualify for benefits if he would just go online and apply.

Then there are the marvelous superheroes of the "silver age" of comics, several of whom are appearing in The Avengers. Captain America was born in 1941, making him not only fit for leading but also ripe for retiring. The Hulk and Thor both came onto the scene in 1962; Iron Man and Nick Fury joined them in 1963. They, along with 1962’s Spiderman (also enjoying a movie reboot this year) don’t qualify for retirement benefits yet, but they might want to plan ahead by taking a look at the online Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator, where they can get an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits.

From Batman to Spiderman, Captain America to The Hulk, making a decision to retire does not mean hanging up your costume. Today’s retirees are more active than ever, even as they collect benefits.

If you’d like to learn more about your own future retirement benefits, take a break from the big screen and take a look at your computer screen. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator to receive a picture of your own future retirement.

Ready to start the sequel now? Apply for benefits on the computer. At www.socialsecurity.gov and click the "retirement" tab.