Retired Americans on average started receiving their Social Security benefits at age 62, according to a recent survey conducted by the Nationwide Retirement Institute (NRI). When asked why they began drawing their benefits from the government, the most frequently cited reasons by respondents included health problems, exiting the workforce sooner than intended, and an unexpected need for additional income. Regardless of the explanation, such an early retirement means that these Americans are not receiving their full-benefit from the government and unsurprisingly, around one in four said that their Social Security payment is “less or much less” than they anticipated it would be.
Surveyed pre-retirees on average reported that they plan to start drawing Social Security at age 65, not quite the full-benefit retirement age but still later (better) than most current retirees. Among the pre-retirees that said they intend to delay when they start drawing Social Security, 83 percent said that it is because they want to receive the largest benefit possible. Ideally, though, the age at which a person starts collecting Social Security should not matter too much if the bulk of his or her retirement income comes from alternative sources. Encouragingly, many pre-retirees reported having a wide variety of savings accounts, such as tax-advantaged 401(k) plans, and surveyed future retirees were found to be a lot less likely than current retirees to say that Social Security will be their primary source of old-age income.
Sources: Nationwide Retirement InstitutePost author: Charles Couch