Why Social Security Timing Isn’t About Maximizing Lifetime Benefits

The common advice on timing your claim for retirement benefits speaks to your life expectancy.

Common Advice On Timing When You Claim Benefits

When Do Americans Usually Claim Social Security Retirement Benefits?

According to USA Today, 62 is by far the most common claiming age (34.3%), with over 57% claiming before the full retirement age.

Why Do Americans Claim Social Security Benefits Early?

According to a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1. “Stopping work

2. Liquidity

3. Poor health

4. Concerns about future benefit cuts due to policy changes”

Will Social Security Be Here For You?

The trustees of the Social Security Administration expect the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund to run out in 2034, and the Federal Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund to run out in 2065.

Let’s look from this perspective. Swipe up to

A Better Way To View Social Security Benefits

Stopping Work

If you were laid off in your early 60s and don’t have a better option, early filing may well be your best bet.

Swipe up to read more about liquidity. 


Poor Health

If you’re in poor health and follow the common advice, you’d take early, reduced benefits.

The Bottom Line

Social Security is best seen as longevity insurance. As with all insurance products, you pay a premium to cover the insured event, and if the event (in this case aging) occurs, the plan pays out