Social security is a federally sponsored program which is designed to provide a stream of income to a retired individual or someone who is physically incapable of working. Those who have contributed to the system their entire lives will have the ability to receive their full benefit by the time they are 67 years old. However, if they prefer they could take it early. When deciding if you should take social security early, there are a few factors to consider.
The first factor to consider is what the reduction in the benefit will be. When you take social security at age 62 as opposed to 67 you could be forgoing up to 20% of the benefit which you would normally receive. Since this is a large difference, it must be considered when you are thinking about taking your social security benefit.
Another factor to consider is whether you do not have another source of income. If you are 62 and do not have a job, pension, or substantial retirement savings, you may be in dire financial straits if you do not take social security early. If delaying taking the money from the government could force you into bankruptcy or foreclosure, taking it early would be a good choice.
Some people choose to take social security early because they feel that they could invest the money themselves. If you feel that you could successfully invest your social security proceeds, it may be beneficial to take the benefit at age 62 as opposed to 67. In the long run, the investment income could overcome the decline in benefits received each month.