The Social Security program is very important for the majority of people who are planning ahead for their retirement years. This having been stated, you would do well to take personal responsibility for your retirement to avoid being overly reliant on this entitlement.
If you plan ahead properly you can accumulate a financial underpinning on your own while you look forward to the boost that your Social Security income will provide when you start to draw a benefit.
When can you apply for Social Security? There are multiple answers to this question.
It is possible to start to receive Social Security when you are as young as 62 years of age. This may sound appealing, but you have to understand the fact that you would be receiving a reduced benefit if you do in fact retire at the age of 62.
Your age of full benefit eligibility will vary depending on the year during which you were born. For those are not yet receiving Social Security benefits the age of eligibility is either 66, 67, or somewhere in between.
The third possibility would be to delay your application beyond your age of full eligibility. When you do this you earn delayed retirement credits that would increase the amount of your benefit when you do finally apply for Social Security.
If you were born in 1943 or after the increase would be 8% per year that you delayed your application.
When you do want to apply for Social Security you can do so online, by visiting the Social Security office that is local to you, or by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.