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All the reasons we’re glad we took Social Security early

In making our decision, we ran all the numbers, including the most valuable number of all: time This article is reprinted by permission from

As retirement approaches you must face the question, “What is the best age for me to claim Social Security?”

Experts declare that you should avoid taking reduced payments at 62 unless you need the money immediately or have health issues that may shorten your lifespan.

They almost unanimously advise waiting until full retirement age (66 and 6 months in 2024) to receive 100% of benefits earned. Postponing until the maximum payout at age 70 is even better, since 8% is added to your monthly check for each year you delay.

A missing term in the equation From a purely financial perspective, the logic is irrefutable. But there is another asset often ignored. One that could be considered even more valuable than money because it is constantly being spent and can never be saved.


We both started receiving Social Security at age 62, and it has turned out to be one of the best decisions we have ever made. Well, actually the choice was made for us when the 2007-09 recession of 2008 swept away our careers and much of our net worth.

Had what seemed at the time like a calamity not happened, we would have most likely followed conventional wisdom and kept working to save more money. Instead we took a leap of faith, moved abroad to a lower cost of living, and found ourselves staring at a blank canvas titled “Our Future” far sooner than planned.

It is said there are three phases of retirement — Go-Go (age 60 to 70), Slow-Go (70 to 80) and No-Go (80 and up). We hit the ground running at the beginning of our Go-Go period, and what an unexpected blessing those extra years have turned out to be in the following important aspects of life.

Also read: Think Donald Trump has promised not to change Social Security? Think again.