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No. of Recommendations: 5
"As usual, correlation doesn't mean causation. I would suspect many that retire early do so because they want to, instead of determining rationally whether they should." - rharmelink

"I would speculate that the causation is the other way. Poverty may impel the early claiming SS" - CNC

"I suspect that many claim early SS because they are emotionally and physically exhausted. Not everyone has a cushy desk job where they can sit on their butt all day and drink coffee and take a break anytime they want to. Meat cutters and forklift drivers and restaurant employees and all other kinds of folks that have to do hard physical work may not have a physical disability that is bad enough to claim SS disability but they got aches and pains and arthritis and their shoulder or knees hurt and they got hemorrhoids and all other kinds of aches and pains and life has been hard for them so they just get out as soon as they can". - Art

"The more you spend on pain meds, back braces, shoe inserts, therapy and doctors, the
more likely you might need money from any and all sources." - Howie52</>

Yep, or

You are not in poverty or completely disabled, and were rationally planning to keep working and saving longer and put off claiming SS, but:

- Your employer downsized/relocated/went out of business. Not many realistic job opportunities for a 62 year-old. You have saved enough to wait for full retirement age but you now have health insurance expense on top of existing bills. You determine that in your situation, early claiming SS to help pay the costs is more rational than being without health insurance.
or
- It becomes necessary to be a caretaker for your parent/spouse/other loved one. The time required is such that you cannot put in the hours demanded by your job - especially if it includes commuting and/or unpaid overtime. There is no option for a flexible schedule or telecommuting arrangement. You determine that in your situation, early claiming SS is more rational than trying to keep at that job while trying to find and afford outside health aides.
or
- You are working, your job is pretty secure, you want to keep working and have no emotional or physical reasons you can't, *but* you have not received a meaningful pay increase in years, while you are experiencing very meaningful increases in the cost of groceries, medicine, property and other non-income taxes, gasoline, etc. You do not have opportunity or stamina for a second or third job. You determine that in your situation, early claiming SS to supplement your pay is more rational than waiting and actually falling into poverty.
- While you may not fear that SS is going to 'run dry', as per BruceM, you are aware of the political climate and you do worry that SS may be taken from you in the name of 'entitlement reform' before you reach full age. While we all hope that is 'silly', you determine that in your situation, early claiming SS is more rational than the risk of waiting and losing SS entirely.

There are many more examples.
One size does not fit all.
LB
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