Retirees lose a collective $3.4 trillion in Social Security income by not waiting as long as possible to tap benefits, a new report concludes.
The study from investment firm United Income examines the long-term financial effects of the decisions surrounding when to claim Social Security. Just 4% of retirees make the generally optimal decision of waiting until age 70 — when benefits reach their maximum amount — to start getting those monthly checks.
About 57% of retirees would build more wealth if they waited until 70, compared to just 6.5% of retirees — predominantly lower-income individuals with no separate savings — who would have more wealth if they claim prior to age 64. Despite that, more than 70% of retirees tap their benefits by then, according to the study. The earliest you can claim is age 62.
Ariel Skelley | DigitalVision | Getty Images
“People should really engage in retirement planning and figure out whether they should take Social Security early or not,” said…