What happens if you take your Social Security benefits before your full retirement age? This is the question many seniors are pondering.

According to a recent Associated Press Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 44 percent reported that income from Social Security will be their biggest income source during their retirement years., and that Americans 50 and older have access to multiple sources of income, but Social Security is the most common source.

According to the Social Security Administration, if full benefits begin at 65 or 66 and you were born between 1943 and 1954; you can begin collecting social security at 62, but at a reduced benefit rate by up to 30 percent. The average age that most people expect to start or have started collecting Social security is 64.   If you could wait in this case past 66 years of age and even to 70 to claim your benefits, your benefits would rise around 8 percent more.

There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your Social Security early. One advantage is that you collect your benefits for a longer period of time. The downside to that option is your benefits are reduced.

Your circumstances are just like your fingerprints, no two are alike.
The average retirement age for men is 64, and for women 62. There is no set answer as to when it is best for you to take out Social Security, in that it varies across all ethnic groups.

Click here for further statistics and information regarding what your full retirement age would be, and important factors you should consider regarding your social security benefits and retirement.

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