Q: My neighbor said he applied for Social Security retirement benefits on the computer. Can you really apply for retirement without traveling to an office?
A: Yes you can! And what's more, it's the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to apply for retirement benefits. There's no need to fight the traffic to visit an office and wait to be served. Our website makes it simple, allowing you to apply for retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. You can get started now at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.
Q: What is the earliest age I can begin receiving retirement benefits?
A: The earliest age you can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is 62. If you decide to receive benefits before your full retirement age, which for most people is age 66 or 67, you will receive a reduced benefit. Keep in mind you will not be able to receive Medicare coverage until age 65, even if you decide to retire at an earlier age. For more information, go to www.socialsecurity.gov.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213.