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We always hear about the benefits of waiting to collect Social Security, but no one talks about the opportunity cost of not starting at 62, i.e. how many years at the higher benefit it will take to make up for the years of benefits one did not receive from 62 to the time they start collecting. Shouldn't life expectancy enter into this calculation?

Life expectancy and personal health are important factors to consider in deciding when to start your Social Security benefit. There is no “one best age” to start collecting Social Security benefits. The decision involves many factors such as financial need, health, longevity and marital status. You receive the highest monthly retirement benefit amount by waiting until age 70. However, this may not be the best strategy for everyone. The Social Security Administration has several calculators to help you on their website at You can also use AARP’s Social Security Benefits Calculator at for guidance on when to claim your benefit.

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