Claim Social Security at the Right Time

Retirees are forfeiting an average of $111,000 per household by filing for benefits early.

picture of social security cards
(Image credit: All Rights Resurved - US Copyright Protected (All Rights Resurved - US Copyright Protected (Photographer) - [None])

One of the biggest financial decisions you make on the road to retirement is when to claim Social Security benefits. You can take benefits as early as age 62, but that means your checks will be up to 30% less than if you wait until full retirement age (which is 66½ for today’s 62-year-olds). Or, for every year you delay Social Security beyond your full retirement age, your benefit grows by 8% until age 70.

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Eileen Ambrose
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Ambrose joined Kiplinger in June 2017 from AARP, where she was a writer and senior money editor for more than three years. Before that, she was a personal finance columnist and reporter at The Baltimore Sun, and a reporter and assistant business editor at The Indianapolis Star. Ambrose has a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in art history from Indiana University.