*The strategy discussed in this post no longer works since Social Security has changed their rules.
You can start receiving Social Security payments as soon as you turn 62 but you pay a penalty for taking payment so early. If you wait until full retirement age, which varies with the year of your birth, you maximize the total amount you can get from the Social Security program. If you begin taking it at 62, your benefit could be as low as 25% less than if you waited until full retirement age.
If you started taking payments early, before your full retirement age, there’s a way to reset the clock. It’s called the Social Security redo and the subject of a segment on Marketplace Money last Friday. Essentially all you do is repay all the money you’ve received so far and the clock will be reset.