Early Retirement: Use Savings Vs. Social Security - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. Many times people at some point say: "when can I retire?", "is it ok if I retire early?", and then "if I retire early, what should I use, my savings or my social security?" Well the key thing there is the earliest you can start taking social security is sixty-two. So, I am going to assume when someone says they are retiring early they are saying sixty-two. Whether you should take social security or use your savings depends on the personal circumstances. For instance if you are very healthy and there is a lot of longevity, then you may want to delay taking social security, because the longer you delay, the higher your benefits are. If you do think that you might not live that long, then you may want to take the social security at sixty-two. Again, it depends on the circumstances. If you have income from other sources like a pension, and the social security and the pension cover your expenses, then you may not need to hit the savings. Another way to look at it is what if you can get a five percent return on your investment if you take five percent out of your investments, it covers your expenses. So an example might be: I have forty thousand dollars in expenses, and I would need eight hundred thousand dollars in investments, and taking out five percent to cover that forty thousand. Then I do not need to use the social security. But in most cases it is a mixture, and people probably need to take part of it from social security, and part of it from their savings. So because it is not an easy straight forward answer, there are a couple options. One, there are retirement calculators out on the web sites, so somebody could look at where they are, how much they are going to get from social security, what their expenses are, what their investments are, and then trying to come up with a mix. The other option is to possibly find a financial professional that could help.