A key decision that most American retirees need to make is when to start collecting Social Security benefits. You can begin receiving this income as early as age 62 and as late as age 70, and most people commonly take their benefits earlier rather than later.

But what should you do? What’s the best age for you to start this valuable income stream? The decision will be different for everyone, but there’s a good case to be made for filing for Social Security on time — at your full retirement age.

Your full retirement age

The Social Security Administration assigns each of us a “full” retirement age at which we can collect our full benefits. Start collecting earlier — as early as age 62 — and your benefit checks will be smaller. Start collecting later — up to age 70 — and those checks will get bigger.


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