It’s one of the most popular questions in retirement planning: When should I claim Social Security? You might as well be asking, how long will I live?
“Life expectancy is the key driver,” says Ron Mastrogiovanni, founder and CEO of HealthView Services, a Danvers, Mass.-based company that provides retirement health care cost data and tools to financial advisors.
Claiming Social Security too early can cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the average lifetime. And yet, many pre-retirees don’t fully understand this: Nearly half didn’t know that your monthly benefit changes depending on whether you start collecting before or after your full retirement age, which is around age 66 or 67 for everyone born in 1943 and after, according to a quiz by MassMutual released this week.