The Social Security program allows you to start receiving benefits as soon as you reach age 62. The question is, should you?
Monthly payments differ substantially depending on when you start receiving benefits. The longer you wait (up to age 70), the larger each monthly check will be. The sooner you start receiving benefits, the smaller the check.
From the Social Security Administration’s point of view, it’s simple: If a person lives to the average life expectancy, the person will eventually receive roughly the same amount in lifetime benefits no matter when he or she chooses to start receiving them. In actual practice, it’s not quite that straightforward, but the principle holds.
The key phrase is “if the person lives to average life expectancy.” If a person exceeds the average life expectancy, and has opted to wait to receive benefits, he or she will start to accumulate more from Social Security.