Social Security: at what age should you start your benefits?

When pulling the trigger on Social Security benefits, many people choose badly–even folks who are educated and financially comfortable.  It isn’t an easy decision.  If you wait (up to age 70 for maximum benefit) you’ll receive higher lifelong payments than if you start as soon as you’re eligible (age 62).  Experts suggest that if you can wait for the max, you generally should–even if that means dipping into your savings for a while. And it’s especially recommended for the primary breadwinner of the house.  But because waiting takes determination, few people choose that path. To complicate matters, the choice requires a gamble on when you’ll die:  if your family history and/or your health indicate you’ll live a long life, then the above strategy is better than if you wind up dying young (i.e., you won’t live long enough to justify the wait). 

See full article by Ben Steverman in the L.A. Times: