You will start losing money immediately in terms of a reduced monthly check when you begin receiving benefits before reaching full retirement age. However, there is something known as a break-even point on benefits you took early. When you reach about age seventy-eight, it will have taken that long to receive enough benefits to equal the higher amount you would have received had you waited until you reached full retirement age before you began to collect benefits.

The idea is that if you began taking your retirement benefits at sixty-two and your full retirement age is sixty-six you would have been receiving reduced benefits you wouldn’t have had if you’d waited until full retirement age to collect. The monies paid to you during that time add up fast. The majority of Americans take their retirement benefits early, though doing so should only occur after a careful analysis of health, investments, pensions, rental income, and so forth. If you have adequate cash flow to supplement your Social Security, taking benefits early can make sense, especially if you want to retire before your full retirement age.