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This common Social Security strategy could cost you $182,000

This common Social Security strategy could cost you $182,000

This common Social Security strategy could cost you $182,000
Nov 25, 2022 1 min, 44 secs

But people can also claim Social Security as soon as they turn 62, with the tradeoff of a 25% reduction in their monthly checks.

workers wait until they turn 70 to claim Social Security, even though the vast majority would be better off to wait until then to trigger their retirement benefits, the researchers found. .

There's a very real price tag to claiming Social Security too early, as the typical worker is leaving about $182,000 in lifetime discretionary income on the table by claiming before they turn 70, the report noted — income that most Americans could sorely use given that many haven't saved enough to carry them through old age. .

Some people decide to claim Social Security early based on the average life expectancy for 65-year-olds, which is 83 years for men and 85 for women.

The bottom line is that "we can't count on dying on time," said Kotlikoff, who writes about retirement at Maximize My Social Security and is a co-author of "Get What's Yours," a guide to the Social Security program.

Almost half of Americans over 55 lack any retirement savings, which means those workers will be more reliant on Social Security in their old age and may be tempted to claim early in order to have a steady stream of income as soon as they turn 62.

But Kotlikoff said people who remain physically active when they turn 62 should stay in the labor market rather than claim Social Security because by maximizing their benefits, they'll be better off in the long run.

Aside from working longer, there are a number of other strategies that workers can tap to help put off claiming Social Security until full retirement age or older.

Of course, a flip side to waiting to claim Social Security is a reduction in possible cash flow when someone is in their early to mid-60s, the paper noted

"We found that [waiting to claim Social Security] reduces people's spending at the median by 7% — the message being that people think they would have nothing to live on, but a lot of people have resources" beyond Social Security, Kotlikoff said

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