Benefits from Social Security: Nearly 50% of Americans could be committing a serious mistake

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If you choose to apply for Social Security before reaching full retirement age, are you seriously making a mistake? A current GOBankingRates survey found that over half of Americans intend to apply for Social Security benefits before they reach this age.

Although every person’s path to retirement is different, taking Social Security payments early can result in losing up on sizable financial advantages. But how can you tell if filing a claim sooner rather than later is better for you?

The study found that 24% of Americans had either filed for Social Security benefits or wanted to do it at age 62, while 22% intended to do so after age 62 but before reaching full retirement age. The majority of Americans—36%—choose to file claims after they reach full retirement age.

Only 11% of people who file for or intend to file for Social Security benefits do so after reaching full retirement age but before turning 70 (the maximum payout age). Only 7% of people say they won’t start collecting Social Security when they’re 70.

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