Social Security - Use It or lose It

April 25, 2023 
Social Security - Use It or Lose It
I've read numerous online articles during the past two or three months about the best time to begin receiving Social Security payments. Generally, the articles stress delaying payments instead of applying at age 62, the earliest time allowed and the age referred to as early retirement by the Social Security Administration (SSA). ..................
The SSA website1 has an easy-to-understand retirement planner that explains almost everything one needs to consider regarding age before applying for payments.

People can begin receiving monthly payments anytime from ages 62 to 70, with reduced amounts for those who choose to receive early retirement benefits and greater amounts for those choosing to delay receiving benefits. People wanting the largest payment allowed will begin receiving payments at age 70.

Perhaps it doesn't matter as the SSA tells us:
As a general rule, early or late retirement will give you about the same total Social Security benefits over your lifetime. If you retire early, the monthly benefit amounts will be smaller to take into account the longer period you will receive them. If you retire late, you will get benefits for a shorter period of time but the monthly amounts will be larger to make up for the months when you did not receive anything.
Well and good but there are other things to consider that complicates the matter somewhat. The SSA website addresses those issues as well.

We can debate until the cows come home about all the factors to consider, in addition to age, as each person has acquired unique "what ifs" during the years.

It's my contention the wise person will take what he or she can at age 62. It's called getting what one can when one can. It makes sense especially since, according to the SSA, one will receive about the same total payments over a lifetime whether applying at age 62 or age 70 or at some age between the two.

My reason for earlier withdrawal: Why risk dying before receiving the first penny?

In addition, there is one other important matter I don't think many writers of the various articles have mentioned: It is our money. Why delay and let the government use it in ways you likely would not approve?

After all, we don't let the government use our income tax refunds year after year. In my mind, there isn't much difference.
1 SSA Retirement Planner