FinancialEngines_Social_Security_Infographic_3_th You might already know that you are eligible to start claiming Social Security benefits when you reach age 62. But are you aware that there are thousands of possible claiming options (we found thousands of strategies for a married couple!)? Or that the right claiming strategy could increase the amount of lifetime Social Security benefits you receive by as much as $100K for a single person or $250K for a married couple?

If that’s news to you, you’re not alone.

Our recent Social Security study found that:

Awareness is the first step in the right direction.

Most people simply weren’t aware of the power of delaying taking Social Security—or that they needed a Social Security claiming strategy in the first place. When we explained that each year they delayed claiming Social Security between age 62 and 70 resulted in a 6-8 percent increase in Social Security payments, about half (52 percent) of those yet to claim Social Security said that they would consider claiming later.

A little guidance goes a long way.

Similarly, when survey respondents viewed a two-minute video illustrating an optimal claiming strategy for a fictional couple, they were inclined to delay taking Social Security by at least one year.

The bottom line is that our study shows that even a small amount of awareness and guidance can have a meaningful impact on behavior.

What about you? Would you say that you’re adequately aware of Social Security claiming benefits? Find out via our simple quiz here.

Social Security Guide Six Essentials to know

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