When Do People Start Collecting Social Security?

There's no "right" age to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits. It's a personal decision based on multiple factors, including how long someone wants to work and how much retirement income is needed. Workers are entitled to full benefits at their full retirement age (FRA) — 66 to 67, depending on year of birth. Claiming before FRA (as early as age 62) will result in a permanently reduced benefit, while claiming later will result in a permanently increased benefit due to delayed retirement credits, which can be earned up to age 70.

Source: Social Security Administration, 2023 (based on 2022 data)