We’ve all heard the advice: You should postpone claiming Social Security benefits so you can take advantage of a bigger payout.
Most experts suggest such a strategy for a majority of retirees. Yet, there are instances where it makes sense to enroll in Social Security early.
In fact, many people simply refuse to wait to claim their Social Security benefits, with 40% of non-retired Americans planning to claim before reaching their full retirement age, according to Schroders’ 2023 U.S. Retirement Survey.
Most of these folks plan to claim early despite knowing that waiting longer to claim would mean a bigger monthly benefit payment.
What is behind the rush? According to 2,000 U.S. survey respondents ages 27 to 79, the following reasons are behind their decision to claim earlier rather than later.
4. They were advised to claim before age 70
Non-retirees planning to claim Social Security early who cited this reason: 13%
For each year that you delay claiming Social Security benefits, up until age 70, your monthly benefit amount increases. But there are some good reasons to claim Social Security before age 70. We mention a few of them in “5 Times When It’s Smart to Claim Social Security Early.”
So, it’s likely that financial advisers and other experts sometimes recommend getting a head start on benefits.
3. It’s their money and they want access to it ASAP
Non-retirees planning to claim Social Security early who cited this reason: 34%
For decades, the federal government dips into each paycheck and takes a sizable chunk of your hard-earned cash. So, it makes sense that many people want to get their hands on their Social Security benefits as soon as possible.
2. They will need the money
Non-retirees planning to claim Social Security early who cited this reason: 36%
The ultimate reason to claim Social Security early is that you simply cannot live without the benefit. This is especially likely to be true for the millions of Americans who retire early and count on Social Security as their primary source of income.
Some folks might even depend on Social Security for all of their income. For more on how to manage this feat, check out “8 Tips To Retire Comfortably on Social Security Alone.”
1. They’re worried Social Security might run out
Non-retirees planning to claim Social Security early who cited this reason: 44%
Many people worry that Social Security might eventually run out of cash and stop making payments. As we have pointed out, this fear is likely irrational.
But fear is a powerful force, and nearly half of folks surveyed said it drives their desire to claim Social Security early.