So if full retirement is age 66 and you wait until age 70 — when benefits stop increasing — your monthly benefit will be $1,320 instead of $1,000, or 32 percent more than that $1,000. And if that $1,000 were, say, $2,000, waiting until age 70 would mean $2,640 a month.
Taxation is another area where misconceptions abound.
"Social Security is taxed; that surprises some people," Schuette said, explaining that the government has income thresholds for what is taxed, but that no one pays taxes on more than 85 percent of their benefits.
People also are often surprised to discover that if they take Social Security before full retirement age and continue working, they might have to pay taxes on that income. In that scenario, the government will deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2016, that amount is $15,720.
"Once you reach full retirement age, any income you earn isn't held against you from a taxation standpoint," Schuette explained. "You can earn as much as you want."
Schuette points out that many people are in a position of having no choice but to start getting Social Security at age 62 due to insufficient savings or an unexpected life event, such as a medical condition.