Retirees regret early Social Security benefitsNews added by Benefits Pro on June 6, 2014
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By Lisa Barron

Nearly four in 10 retirees who claimed Social Security benefits before the full retirement age of 66 regret having done so, according to a survey by the Nationwide Financial Retirement Institute.

Retirees who receive Social Security as early as 62 see a 25 percent reduction in benefits, while those who wait until 70 earn delayed retirement credits of 8 percent for every year they postpone, which increases their benefits by 32 percent.

The survey showed that 38 percent of retirees wish they had waited to collect Social Security benefits and received a larger payment.

“When and how to claim Social Security is one of the most important financial decisions retirees make in their lifetimes,” David Giertz, president of distribution and sales for Nationwide Financial, said. “The key theme throughout our survey is how crucial it is that Americans work with a financial advisor. Optimizing Social Security benefits is an important part of a holistic retirement plan.”

The survey found that retirees working with an advisor had a better understanding of how much they could expect to receive from Social Security, and they were more likely to be able to afford what they want to do in retirement by a margin of 82 percent to 62 percent.

Just 12 percent of those who had an advisor said their benefits were not as big as they expected, and more than one-third of those without an advisor said they were disappointed in the amount of benefits they received.

The survey also showed that expectations for advisors are increasing. More than half of future retirees, 56 percent, said they expect their advisor to help them decide when and how to claim Social Security benefits, and 81 percent of them said they would change advisors if they didn’t receive guidance on maximizing Social Security benefits.

The online survey of 903 adults aged 50 or older, who are either already retired or plan to retire in the next 10 years, was conducted Feb. 27-March 5.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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