I recently attended a seminar sponsored by A.G. Edwards concerning the timing of receiving social security benefits and the impact on retirement planning. Individuals are entitled to begin receiving social security benefits as early as age 62, although at a reduced rate. If the individual waits until the full benefit age (currently 65) the recipient will be entitled to receive their full benefits for the remainder of their life. Thus the question is "do I want some money now, but a in smaller amounts? Or do I wait a few more years and get the maximum monthly payment?" To keep things interesting, there are earnings limitations if a person elects to get their social security benefits prior to their full benefit age.
Every situation is different and there isn't a right or wrong answer as to when you should choose to start receiving social security benefits. Your financial planner can guide you on the ideal timing issues for your particular situation and the impact for your situation. Generally speaking, receiving benefits at an earlier age is the better option although there may be some reasons to wait.