More Americans Turning to Social Security At Younger Ageby Tim Manni
Social Security applications have surged more than expected in 2009 due to the recession. The increase in applications, while relatively typical during economic downturns, could likely put an added strain on the Administration’s already uncertain future, especially with the wave of baby boomers due to collect:
“We are seeing a significant increase in both retirement and disability applications as a result of the recession,” said Mark Lassiter, a Social Security spokesman.
The 150,000 extra retirees may add to the financial pressure on the entitlement program. In May, Social Security trustees said expenses would exceed revenue beginning in 2016, one year earlier than their previous forecast.
The Social Security Administration had projected an increase of 315,000 applicants for the 12 months ending Sept. 30 partly because the first baby boomers — those born right after World War II — are starting to retire.
Americans qualify for Social Security beginning at age 62. Yet, the earlier you begin to collect, the less benfits you are eligible to receive than if you waited until age 65. However, the recession has left many Americans with little choice but to draw on their benefits sooner than expected.
An anemic job market has left even the younger, highly-qualified audience in desperate search of employment; not to mention older Americans where opportunities are fewer and farther between:
Likewise, many of those applying for retirement benefits are unlikely to find new employment and don’t plan to go to back to school to train for a new career, he said.
“Investing in additional education is less likely to be profitable when you’re 62 than 42,” Van de Water said. “The tendencies at that point are to apply for benefits because you’ve lost your primary source of income.”
Has the recession caused you or anyone you know to apply for Social Security benefits earlier than planned?
(hat tip: The LA Times)