Americans claim Social Security at different times depending on their needs, but what is the most common time? It's actually an interesting topic, because most Americans actually claim Social Security benefits before they actually reach retirement.
Social Security retirement benefits are normally paid out early or exactly on time, not late. According to a chart regarding 2015, 32 percent of men and 37 percent of women took retirement at 62 instead of at their full retirement age. The number of people who took retirement at full retirement age was only 34 percent for men and 28 percent for women.
Of course, that's a little deceptive, because when someone receives Social Security Disability (SSD) earlier in life, that payment automatically becomes Social Security retirement income at their full retirement age. That means that many people, especially the disabled, actually receive benefits that are considered to be retirement benefits much earlier in life.
For those who are not disabled, claiming Social Security early means taking a reduction in your benefits for life. You can lose up to 6 2/3 percent of your benefits per year up to your full retirement age. In some cases, you could lose up to 30 percent of your benefits. If you have a disability, you're protected, because your income automatically converts over into retirement benefits when you hit your full retirement age.
As someone living with a disability, your benefits matter. Your attorney can help you understand if you have pensions or retirement funds that could affect your income and monthly budget as you age with your disability.
Source: Madison.com, "When Do Most Americans Claim Social Security?," Matthew Frankel, May 07, 2017