NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Why People Take Social Security at Different Times?”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks why people take Social Security at different times.  Mike, once they become eligible, individuals can begin taking Social Security retirement benefits at different ages.   However, the longer a person waits, the higher the monthly Social Security income will be.  How do most people decide?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. It is true that for every year a person waits to take SS, benefits rise by 8%
  2. But based on a new analysis, very few people wait to claim SS benefits
  3. Most take within two years of being eligible
  4. Why? Two big reasons given – had retired and needed the cash, and worried

that future policy changes would reduce their benefit

  1. continued employment, good health, and wanting to take advantage of higher

benefits were reasons given by those who waited

  1. interestingly, most of those who claimed early were aware of benefits of


  1. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension