People 59 1/2 and older can take distributions from retirement plans without tax penalty in the U.S., according to USNews.com. The Social Security minimum benefit age is 62; the full benefit age is 65 to 67, depending on birth year, as shown on the retirement calculator at SocialSecurity.gov.
Retiring before the standard retirement age of 65 or 67 means reduced benefits for the rest of the retiree's life, explains the Social Security Administration. 401(k) plans allow benefits at age 55, with specific restrictions and penalties, as U.S. News and World Report details. Delaying retirement past the standard age means increased monthly benefits, encouraging people to work and save longer, explains the SSA.