Taking Social Security benefits: now or later?

A while back I wrote that there’s been a Social Security "early bird special" taken by most married men. Recent experience has been that approximately 50% of those eligible for taking Social Security at age 62, the earliest possible age do so. The financial implications can be huge. If you’re a married man and have been the primary wage earner. Then, your decision to take early Social Security benefits can result in a reduction in your wife’s survivor benefits.

But taking Social Security sooner can also result in a reduction in benefits – for anyone – of approximately 25% if you’re one of the Boomers. Here’s a chart published by the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) who also maintain a blog. The chart illustrates the percentage of reduction in benefits for those retiring at age 62 and the percentage increase in benefits for those working beyond full retirement age.

That is, if you can afford to do that.

Picture above, Waiting in Repose, by artist Dale Wicks.