When should you apply?
Really, there is no catchall “best” age because this will vary based on individual circumstances. Some factors to consider are your individual health status, your life expectancy based on that health status, your need for income during your retirement and whether you intend to work during your retirement years.
The amount of Social Security you are entitled to depends upon individual earnings over your working career. Your monthly benefit will also be affected by the age at which you choose to apply for your benefits. Social Security is calculated by looking at your highest 35 years of earnings. Any “missing” years count as zeros.
Are you a widow/widower? If your spouse dies, you may collect the higher of your benefit or your deceased spouse’s benefit.
What about divorce? The divorced spouse benefit is the same as the benefit for spouses as long as the marriage lasted at least 10 years and the ex-spouse (who is receiving the spousal benefit) has not re-married.