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You can start receiving your Social Security benefits at age 62 but it will be subject to the early retirement reduction. The earliest you can start collecting your benefits without penalty is at full retirement age. From the social security website: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/retirechart.html
"If you start your retirement benefits at age 62, your monthly benefit amount is reduced by about 30 percent. The reduction for starting benefits at age 63 is about 25 percent; 64 is about 20 percent; 65 is about 13.3 percent; and 66 is about 6.7 percent."
See link: https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/Article/3739/What-happens-if-I-work-and-get-Social-Security-retirement-benefits
"We use the following earnings limits to reduce your benefits: If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2016 that limit is $15,720." It does not matter how old your children are for this benefit unless you are also wanting to apply for the spousal benefit.
See Social Security link: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.html
"When a worker files for retirement benefits, the worker's spouse may be eligible for a benefit based on the worker's earnings. Another requirement is that the spouse must be at least age 62 or have a qualifying child in her/his care. By a qualifying child, we mean a child who is under age 16 or who receives Social Security disability benefits.
The spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker's "primary insurance amount," depending on the spouse's age at retirement. If the spouse begins receiving benefits before "normal (or full) retirement age," the spouse will receive a reduced benefit. However, if a spouse is caring for a qualifying child, the spousal benefit is not reduced."
See the same website to ascertain your exact retirement age is. You can apply for your benefits at anytime, please see for link to apply online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib
This will not affect your children's ability for financial aid.
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