Rather, this article is about how we each determine when to start our own benefit. Most people are aware of the “window” to begin benefits as early as age 62, and as late as age 70. The most common question I get is, what is the break even date given that our benefit at full retirement age (66-67) will be decreased for taking it early and increased for taking it later. I tell people that's a good question, but actually this question overlays another more important question. How long will you live? That's not a flip question. We need to spend some time, and honest assessment, to at least come up with a guesstimate. If you're having trouble answering that I suggest a longevity test that you can take. You can factor the outcome from that with your thoughts.
How long will you live is just one important factor when considering when to start taking social security. There are a number of personal situations that affect this decision. In fact, there can be thousands of permutations used to determine the optimal strategy for maximizing your social security benefit. But, the important point isn't just that you determine the maximum strategy. For most people, social security benefits are an important income stream throughout retirement. So, the question to ask is how does this fit in with everything else? That's an interesting discussion I'd be happy to have with you.