According to the Social Security Administration website, retirees can begin collecting Social Security when they turn 62. The yearly amount is calculated by averaging out retirees' highest 35 years of salary.
However, it might not be in your best interest to begin collecting this money right when you turn 62, especially if you can afford to live without it. While most people do collect immediately, statistics show that for each year you defer your Social Security check, your benefits increase about 8 percent, according to an article on the Dallas Morning News website. If you defer for three years, you begin at about 25 percent more per year than if you had started at age 62.