You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Your monthly benefit amount will be different depending on the age you start receiving it. If you choose to:
A. Start your benefits early, they will be reduced based on the number of months you receive benefits before you reach your full retirement age. The reduction in your benefit amount also depends on the year you were born. The maximum reduction at age 62 will be:
- 25 percent for people who reach age 62 in 2013.
- 30 percent for people born after 1959.
You could see a change in your benefit amount if you work after you start receiving benefits. Some of your benefits may be withheld if you have excess earning.
B. Wait until full retirement age, your benefits will not be reduced.
C. Delay benefits until after full retirement age, your benefit will be increased based on the number of months you do not receive benefits between full retirement age and age 70.
Caution: If you apply for benefits more than 6 months after the month you reach full retirement age, you will only be paid benefits for the previous 6 months. There is no additional benefit increase after you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay taking benefits.
Visit the Social Security website for more information at http://www.ssa.gov