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The Psychology Behind Claiming Social Security Benefits Early

Age 62 continues to be the most popular claiming age for Social Security benefits–40% of men and 47% of women decide that way, according to the Social Security Administration. Although this option is counter to the advice doled out by most financial advisors, and even though many of the early filers intuitively understand the long-range implications, the percentages of filers who take this route have been high for decades. Of course, in some cases, it makes sense, as in the case of someone expecting an abbreviated lifetime, or someone severely in need of cash flow, but what about the majority? Yahoo!Finance reporter Kerry Hannon provides some thoughts on this question in a post on their website in which she summarizes the findings of a National Bureau of Economic Research paper on the psychology behind early filing decisions. Read Ms. Hannon’s post here.

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