Can I start taking my Social Security retirement benefits before I reach my full retirement age?

Yes, you can receive Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, if you begin to receive benefits before you reach full retirement age, your benefits will be permanently reduced. The amount of the reduction depends on the age when you begin receiving benefits and your full retirement age. It is important to note that the amount you receive when you first begin taking benefits sets the base for the amount you will receive for the rest of your life, though you would still receive annual cost-of-living adjustments and, depending on your work history, may receive higher benefits if you continue to work.

Early Social Security Benefits (assuming a full retirement age of 66 and a $24,000 annual benefit)

AGEPERCENTAGE OF FULL RETIREMENT BENEFITANNUAL BENEFIT
6275.00%$18,000.00
6380.00%$19,200.00
6486.66%$20,798.40
6593.33%$22,399.20
66100.00%$24,000.00

Early Social Security Benefits (assuming a full retirement age of 67 and a $24,000 annual benefit)

AGEPERCENTAGE OF FULL RETIREMENT BENEFITANNUAL BENEFIT
6270.00%$16,800.00
6375.00%$18,000.00
6480.00%$19,200.00
6586.66%$20,798.40
6693.33%$22,399.20
67100.00%$24,000.00