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FACT SHEET: Social Security: It Pays to Wait

Published: February 2014

When to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits and when to stop working are two of the most important financial decisions that older Americans make. You can take retirement benefits at any time between ages 62 and 70. If you are age 62 or older and need Social Security to make ends meet, you should take it. But there are sound financial reasons to delay taking benefits, if you can. If you wait, your monthly benefits will be higher for the rest of your life. Waiting even a year or two helps.

The fact sheet summarizes the advantages of delaying your Social Security benefits beyond age 62, when feasible, as well as the critical role that Social Security plays in many retirees’ financial wellbeing. It is based on the brief, When Should I Take Social Security Benefits? Questions to Consider and the video Social Security: It Pays to Wait.

View NASI's toolkit of materials on when to take Social Security benefits -- including the brief and the video (available in English and Spanish).