It’ll be a year before Social Security data reflects beneficiary behavior as a result of the pandemic, but in order to determine how much of an impact it had, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College analyzed the ages of beneficiaries who started claiming in 2019, as well as trends in early claiming over time.
Social Security Claim Age
In 2019, roughly a third of beneficiaries started claiming retirement benefits at age 62, and another third claimed at their full retirement age of 65 or 66, the report found. Women were more likely to claim at 62 than FRA (34% compared to 30%), and men were more likely to wait until FRA (31% compared to 36%). Just 9% of women and 6% of men waited until they were 70 or older to begin taking Social Security benefits.
CRR notes that the early claiming age might appear more popular than it really is due to the increase in eligible 62-year-olds since the late ’90s.