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Key Findings Details

Older People's Willingness to Delay Social Security Claiming
Raimond H. Maurer and Olivia S. Mitchell
WP 2016-346

  • In our HRS module, we show that many older Americans would be willing to delay claiming their Social Security benefits if they were offered an actuarially fair lump sum to do so.
  • Overall, half of the respondents say they would delay claiming if no work requirement were in place under the status quo, and only slightly fewer with a work requirement.
  • If no work is required, the average amount needed to induce delayed claiming is about $60,400, while when part-time work is required, the average is $66,700. This implies a low utility value of leisure foregone of only $6,300, or under 20% of average household income.
  • Delayed claiming would have a positive effect on their retirement security, in that their Social Security income streams rise per year of delay. Indeed benefits, claimed at age 70 are over 75% higher than at age 62.