Knowing More About Social Security Helps

March 18, 2013 ( – Knowledge about how and when to claim Social Security benefits is valuable in several ways, says a new report from Securian Financial Group.

Waiting longer to start claiming Social Security benefits results in a larger amount per payment, according to the report, “How Much Will I Get?”, which polled 804 people between the ages of 50 and 65, to see how much they knew about how and when to start claiming benefits. 

The report found that those polled fell into two groups, Planners (18%) and Nonplanners (82%). Forty-four percent of the Planners said they had started researching the Social Security claim process due to “concern whether retirement savings will provide enough income,” and 42% said they need to decide at what age they will retire. 

Upon doing such research, Planners made the following changes to their Social Security strategies:  

  • Changed the age at which they will retire (58.9%);  
  • Changed the age at which they will start claiming Social Security benefits (47.9%); 
  • Changes involving their spouse’s retirement age (39.7%). 

As for Nonplanners, the report found that they “are not rushing their decisions about where and how to claim Social Security.” With regards to researching the process, Nonplanners say they will begin:  

  • Between the ages of 60 and 65 (64%);  
  • At age 60 (18%);  
  • At age 62 (18%);  
  • At age 65 (15%). 


The study found the Social Security website ( is popular with both Planners and Nonplanners. Other sources of information on the process included visiting the local Social Security office, speaking with friends and family that have already retired, and working with a financial adviser. 

The report can be downloaded here.