I was born December 2, 1951. Hence, my "retirement age" for SS retirement benefits is 66. However, if I apply for benefits now to begin January 1, 2017, am I still 66 for SS purposes (even though chronogically I am not 66 for 11 more months)?
No, if you start drawing benefits effective with any month prior to the month you reach age 66, you'll receive a reduced benefit. And, if you start drawing retirement benefits 11 months early as proposed in your question, your benefit rate will be permanently reduced by about 6.1% from the age 66 rate.
Before making any decisions about when to file for benefits, you may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website.