When should I claim Social Security benefits?

- Sooner or later, all of us will retire and start collecting Social Security benefits. The challenge is deciding when.

"Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all solution," Manhattan-based certified financial planner Roger Ma said. "In the past, what we call full retirement age, or where someone is eligible for their full Social Security benefit, used to be at age 65. Now it's more so between 66 and 67."

The Social Security Administration reported that in 2017 just over 34 percent claimed benefits early at the age of 62, just over 10 percent started at the more traditional age 65, and nearly 4 percent waited until they were 70.

Ma broke down the pluses and minuses.

"So there's definitely implications for taking it at 62. One of the main implications is you'll receive benefits longer, but you'll receive a decreased benefit and that decreased benefit could be as much as 30 percent less," Ma said. "On the flip side, for each year that you delay taking Social Security beyond your full retirement age, your benefit will increase by 8 percent a year."

Still, deciding when to leave the workforce is not easy. Dr. Nava Silton, a clinical psychologist, said some anxiety is to be expected.

"There's a fear of a loss of identity. There's a fear of financial stability and then a lack of financial stability. There's a fear that you have so many relationships associated with work and maybe that will also go," Silton said. "So the good news is, is that with good planning for retirement a lot of this anxiety can really be alleviated."

The Social Security Administration's website has a calculator that lets you see the benefits you would receive under different age scenarios.

The AARP has a similar function on its website, as well.

And talking to someone in person is always a good idea.

"It might make sense to reach out to a financial planner to maybe get a second opinion or a double check on what you're thinking," Ma said.

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