“The soonest you can file for Social Security is age 62. For each year filed early, there is a penalty of 8%. Despite this, 72% of Americans collect at age 62.
If you delay collecting until age 70, benefits will increase by 64%!” (Josh Brown)
The fact that nearly three-quarters of beneficiaries choose to collect early tells us something about human nature. And it may tell us something about people’s financial situations, too.
I have no idea when someone else should file for benefits. It depends on their circumstances. I intend to wait until age 70, but reserve the right to change my mind if circumstances change. Waiting until age 70 could have a major impact on the benefits my wife receives should I die first (highly probable albeit not certain from an actuarial standpoint).
In any case, I have no idea what Social Security will look like when you reach retirement age, Vera. Perhaps it won’t even exist. To be safe, it’s best not to assume it will be there. Provide for your own retirement security as best you can and consider any government benefits as icing on the cake. Don’t rely on it.