If I start collecting Social Security before age 65 is there a penalty in the amount of Social Security I can collect?

First, understand that if you were born after 1937 your normal retirement age rises from 65 years and 2 months for people born in 1938 to 67 years old for people born after 1960.  Currently, a qualified beneficiary can continue to collect benefits when that worker reaches age 62, but the beneficiary will receive reduced benefits.  For every month before the age fo full retirement that the retiree begins collecting benefits, the benefits are cut by about 56% of 1% up to a maximum of 20%.  Note that in 36 months of early retirement you benefits would have been cut by 20%.

 

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