Only 10% of Americans Plan Wait to 70 Before Taking Social Security

August 11, 2023

Generally speaking, it’s best to wait until 70 before taking Social Security Benefits to maximize your monthly payment.

Early claiming will affect the size of your monthly Social Security checks. Those who turn 62 this year will have their benefit reduced by about 30% if they claim this year instead of waiting until their full retirement age of 67, according to the Social Security Administration.

At full retirement age, retirees will receive 100% of the benefits they earned. For each year delayed past full retirement age up until the age of 70, 8% is added to Social Security benefits. So waiting up to age 70 means retirees can lock in the biggest benefit checks available based on their work records.

Despite this, just 10% of nonretired Americans plan to hold off until they reach that age, according to a new survey from asset management company Schroders.

Of the survey’s respondents who are closest to retirement, those between the ages of 60 and 65, just 17% said they will wait until 70 to begin collecting Social Security. Meanwhile, 40% of respondents said they plan to take their Social Security retirement benefits between ages 62 and 65.

It’s not that investors are unaware that waiting would mean a bigger check. 72% of all nonretired investors and 95% of those between the ages of 60 and 65 said they know the benefits of delaying, but they are concerned about their own financial security, as well as the stability of the Social Security program.

The top reason for claiming early, cited by 44% of the respondents, is a concern that Social Security may run out of money and stop making payments, something that the researchers who conducted the study said was evidence of a “crisis of confidence” in the system.

Other reasons for taking benefits before 70 included needing the money (36%), and merely wanting access to the money as soon as possible (34%). Just 13% said they were acting on advice that claiming earlier would make sense, which is true in some instances.


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