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Starting Social Security Early

Starting Your Retirement Benefits Early

You can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, you are entitled to full benefits when you reach your full retirement age. If you delay taking your benefits from your full retirement age up to age 70, your benefit amount will increase.

If you start receiving benefits early, your benefits are reduced a small percent for each month before your full retirement age.

To find out how much your benefit will be reduced if you begin receiving benefits from age 62 up to your full retirement age, use the chart below and select your year of birth. This example is based on an estimated monthly benefit of $1000 at full retirement age.

Full Retirement and Age 62 Benefit By Year Of Birth

Before You Make Your Decision

There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your benefit before your full retirement age. The advantage is that you collect benefits for a longer period of time. The disadvantage is your benefit will be reduced. Each person’s situation is different. It is important to remember:

  • If you delay your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit.
  • That there are other things to consider when making the decision about when to begin receiving your retirement benefits.

If you decide to delay your benefits until after age 65, you should still apply for Medicare benefits within three months of your 65th birthday. If you wait longer, your Medicare medical insurance (Part B) and prescription drug coverage (Part D) may cost you more money.