How Old Do You Need to Be to Collect Social Security?

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Individuals can collect Social Security payments as early as age 62; however, an individual may not receive full benefits until he reaches age 66, according to the Social Security Administration. At age 62, he can collect 75 percent of his benefits. That percentage increases to 93.3 percent after age 65.

Other factors affect the age at which an individual is entitled to receive Social Security benefits. For instance, as of 2016, if an individual is a surviving widower, he may begin to receive payments as early as age 60, states PBS NewsHour. This benefit is only available to survivors whose spouses took their benefits early.