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Why aren’t more people getting the most out of Social Security?

Kerry Hannon tried to make sense of the use it or lose it mindset most Americans have on Social Security. According to a new survey from asset management company Schroders, just 10% of non-retired Americans say they will wait until age 70 to begin Social Security, the age that pays the highest benefits. Four in 10 won’t even wait until their full retirement age and plan to tap their Social Security benefits between age 62 and 65, taking the smallest amount available to them. The primary reason workers said they will take benefits before 70 is because they’re concerned Social Security may stop cutting checks before they reach that age. It’s a bit unfounded, as the program has financial troubles, but it is not going away. Full article here.

As an example of the leading thoughts on reforming Social Security, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC, Inc.) believes Social Security must be preserved and modernized.  This can be achieved without tax increases by slight modifications to cost of living adjustments and payments to high income beneficiaries plus gradually increasing the full (but not early) retirement age.  AMAC Action, AMAC’s advocacy arm, supports an increase in the threshold where benefits are taxed and then indexing for inflation, and calls for eliminating the reduction in people’s benefits for those choosing to work before full retirement age.  AMAC is resolute in its mission that Social Security be preserved for current and successive generations and has gotten the attention of lawmakers in D.C., meeting with many congressional offices and staff over the past decade. 

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