You can begin collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62. In fact, half of all Americans start their benefits when Social Security generates the lowest amount of lifetime retirement income. For many, that's a careless and costly mistake.
While you can begin collecting benefits that early, experts urge you to wait.
Because you will be in a permanently reduced amount—up to a 30 percent reduction—in benefits. You can delay receiving benefits up to age 70, in which case your benefits will be higher for the rest of your life.