Less than 10 percent of Affluent households are in favor of raising the age benchmark to receive full Social Security benefits higher than 72.
The current age to receive full Social Security retirement benefits is 66 for those born between 1943-54. That’s about right, according to a majority of Affluent investors surveyed by Spectrem Group.
Six-in-ten surveyed do not think that the age for receiving full Social Security benefits should be raised. There are some telling exceptions. Affluent women are substantially more likely than men to want to see the age benchmark to receive full benefits raised (29 percent vs. 46 percent). This indicates women are less confident about their financial futures and may be vulnerable to a delay in receiving full benefits. Likewise, Baby Boomers age 61 and up are significantly more likely than their younger counterparts to want to see the age raised (52 percent vs. 27 percent of respondents ages 51-60, 30 percent of those ages 41-50 and 34 percent of those under 40).
Social Security, which was created to provide a source of retirement income, is projected to be unable to pay full benefits by 2033. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College proposes raising the full retirement age to 67 more quickly and continuing to raise it as lifespans increase so that the portion of adult life over which one could collect full benefits stays the same. “The Social Security program is more sustainable if people retire later,” Romina Boccia, the Grover M. Hermann fellow in federal budgetary affairs at the Heritage Foundation, told The Washington Post. “People spending more years working also allows them to save more.
Some, of course, do not view spending more years working as a plus. To that, Boccia observed that delaying Social Security benefits would save the payments for when people need them the most, at older ages, 80 and up.
Of those in favor of an increase in the age range to receive full Social Security benefits, the highest percentage of Affluent respondents said that between 68-69 would be the best age range, while four-in-ten proposed ages 70-71. Less than 10 percent of respondents were in favor of raising the age benchmark to receive full Social Security benefits higher than 72.
Collecting Social Security retirement benefits before reaching full retirement age means a lower monthly benefit amount. The earliest a person can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits is 62, but doing so would get you only 75 percent of the monthly benefit. If you wait to begin collecting until after you reach full retirement age, you become eligible for delayed retirement credits, which increase your monthly benefit amount by 8 percent each year that you delay collecting, up to a maximum of 32 percent. Once you reach age 70, no additional delayed retirement credits accrue.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.