I was speaking with everyone's favorite skeptic, Billy Know-It-All, recently (you know, the one who claims that Social Security is bankrupt?), and he was up to his old antics again. We were discussing the optimal time for him to claim Social Security, and inevitably life expectancy comes up.
We've all been there before, a perfectly pleasant and enjoyable evening at a cocktail party is progressing swimmingly. The kids are tucked in, the dishes are cleaned and put away, and the conversation is engaging. Enter wise guy, stage left. We all know who he is; the friend/relative/neighbor/co-worker who knows it all.
With concern about the Social Security trust fund's solvency and speculation rampant that the system is bankrupt (which it actually isn't), many people wonder whether potential future changes will be directed at their retirement benefits.
You took the money and ran, didn't you? When it comes to Social Security, most Americans do the same thing. According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College1, as much as 90% of Social Security recipients collect at or before Full Retirement Age with a significant number of people collecting as early as 62.
So does Social Security allow a mulligan? It does, albeit on a fairly limited basis. Let's see if you're eligible.