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  • Getting Ready to Retire
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  • Getting Ready to Retire
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ANSWER: False.

Quite the opposite. Whether you take benefits early or wait until 70, you'll end up with the same dollar amount before you die, assuming you die at your projected life expectancy (as determined by Social Security actuaries). Thus, if you claim benefits at 62, the earliest you are eligible, you'll receive a 25% to 30% reduction to account for the actuarial reality that you'll be receiving benefits for a longer stretch of time.

If your full retirement age is 66 but you wait until 70, your benefit will be 32% higher because, actuarially, you'll be collecting over a shorter period.

Of course, if you die before you reach your projected life expectancy, you'll collect a lower total payout either way, but if you delay claiming until 70 and live well beyond your life expectancy, then the wait will be more than worthwhile.

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