There has been a definitive increase in the amount of people claiming social security benefits early. The current economic climate and fear of government policy changes are driving many to file for retirement benefits at the age of 62. While I understand the mentality of “grabbing what is available” my advice is to push your decision back as far as possible to avoid costly mistakes.
The amount of benefits paid to an individual varies upon several factors. Beyond your filing date, it also includes lifetime earnings, marital status, current income and other dynamics. The worst thing you can do is file before examining all of your options. The difference in monthly benefits received at age 62 as opposed to age 66 is around 25%. Do you think it would be nice to earn 25% for the rest of your life?