Yes! You can retire as early as age 62, but your benefits will be reduced by 25 percent compared with your payment if you had waited until full retirement age to collect. For example, if your unreduced benefit is $2000 per month, and you retire early at 62, then your benefits will be reduced 25% to $1500 per month. But there is still hope to increase your payment! If you can prove that you were disabled before your full retirement age then you may be able to get your unreduced benefit for as long as you were disabled, sometimes for the rest of your life. In this example, your payment would increase from $1500 to $2000 per month. Not bad, right? Act quickly though, because you can only get the higher benefit retroactively for twelve months before you apply! For example, if you became disabled on January 1, 2012, and you apply for benefits today, you are only eligible to get payments from August 2015 onward. You will not get payments retroactive to 2012. Don't forget that you also must meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disabled - which is an extremely strict and hopelessly complex standard. There are many other exceptions and rules, so it is best to consult with an attorney if you're not sure. Disclaimer: This is a simplified and shortened version of the law/rules and is meant for information only.