I recently sat down with Tina Ambrozy, president of Nationwide Financial Distributors, to elaborate on the results.
"There's a lot of belief that there will be changes over the next four years that will negatively impact their Social Security benefit," Ambrozy said. That's the highest that sentiment has been in the four years the survey has been taken, she added. (Although the Republican tax framework, released on Sept. 27, says it will encourage "retirement security" and "will aim to maintain or raise the resources available for retirement." )
Of course, if you're in poor health or think the government's cash will run out, it's an understandable decision to take the money early, though that's a very costly move as you permanently lower your benefit than if you had waited to collect.
Compounding the issue is the general lack of understanding about the how the program works. It's not your fault. The Social Security claiming system with all its rules, nuances and permutations, makes an NFL coach's playbook look simple.
For example, if you wait until age 70 to start collecting, your benefit will be about 32 percent more than if you took it at 66. Or that your Medicare premiums generally are automatically deducted from your monthly benefit. And if you're married and want to strategize about who should claim what and when, it really does take a rocket scientist to decipher it all.