When to file is also a question that a lot of people have. You can file for benefits as early age 62. If you do you'll receive a permanently reduced amount compared to the amount you would receive if you filed as your full retirement age (FRA). Your FRA is probably 66 or 67 (here's a link to a FRA chart on the SS Administration's website https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/retirechart.html ).You can also delay the date you receive Social Security up to age 70 which would increase your benefit by 8% every year you delay past your FRA.
There are a multiple ways that you can structure your filing to best maximize the amount of benefit you'll receive over your lifetime. If you are (or were) married, developing a filing strategy with your spouse may give you more options to maximize your benefit as well. For example, you may be able to file a "restricted application" where you collect a spousal benefit, usually 50% of your spouse's FRA amount, and allow your own benefit to grow. Later you can switch to your full benefit after allowing it to grow due to delaying receipt past your FRA. Your strategy depends on your situation, as well as your financial needs and working situation. For example, if you're over your FRA and are still working, you can decide to take your benefit while earning an income from your job. If you don't your SS benefit, you can let it grow through age 70.
Before applying, do some analysis and possibly engage someone to help you run numbers to ensure you're planning to maximize your benefit based on your situation.
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