When I make plans for my retirement, I always operate under the assumption that I'll claim Social Security benefits at 62. When I estimate what Social Security will do for me as a senior, I assume I'll start my checks at 62 for one simple reason: Because that's the earliest age they become available. Since claiming Social Security at 62 instead of starting benefits later means taking a significant hit to benefits, I don't want to overestimate how much money I'll get.
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