People say they want to wait longer to claim Social Security, but life often gets in the way.
A Nationwide Retirement Institute survey of Americans 50 years and older found that 83 percent of recent retirees started taking their benefits before their full retirement age, receiving 49 percent less in benefits than if they would have waited. Among recent retirees, 38 percent said they claimed Social Security benefits because they needed the money, 30 percent because they had health problems and 24 percent claimed after a job loss, Nationwide found.
Confidence in the financial future of Social Security is a top reason people say they claim their Social Security retirement benefits early. Roughly 1 in 4 retirees say they plan to claim benefits early at age 62, instead of their full retirement age (which is 66 or 67 years old for most retirees depending on when they were born) because they worry the funding for Social Security will run out during their lifetime.
The Social Security Administration forecasts that its trust fund for retirement benefits will be exhausted by 2034. However, even if Congress does nothing to shore up one of the nation's most popular federal programs, the Social Security Administration projects it will have enough money from payroll taxes to cover three-quarters of retirement benefits promised to retirees through 2090.