Five Reasons to Take Social Security Early (and Four Reasons to Wait)

Are there good reasons to take Social Security early? While many experts say it's best to wait until full retirement age to claim benefits, here are some reasons to start early.

Two retirees sitting on a lawn in chairs.
(Image credit: iStockphoto)

A record number of people will retire in 2024, with four million Baby Boomers turning 65. Although experts say it's often better to wait until full retirement age to claim your Social Security benefits, you may feel the reasons to take Social Security early outweigh the disadvantages. 

The Social Security program began during the Great Depression as a form of social insurance to address ongoing poverty rates among senior citizens. The Social Security Act, part of Roosevelt's New Deal, was enacted on August 14, 1935, when lawmakers set the retirement age at 65. It stayed that way until Congress overhauled the system in 1983 and gradually raised the full retirement age to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.