Study: 83% of Retirees Believe They’ll Lose Their Social Security

photo credit: 401(K) 2012A recent survey by BMO Retirement Institute found 83 percent of retirees were influenced to start their benefits because they were concerned about the viability of the program.

But for Americans nearing retirement age, knowing when to pull the trigger on government retirement benefits is more complicated—or should be.

“People believe that Social Security is something they get when they turn 65. They think there’s only one calculation: I’ll apply when I stop working,” said Rebecca Hall, a private wealth adviser with Ameriprise Financial in Reston, Va., in a recent interview.

How and when you take your benefits, however, can make a difference of thousands of dollars in how much money you draw from the system over the course of your retirement.

And for many Americans, that difference can be crucial. Some 60 percent of Americans 65 and older depend on Social Security for the majority of income, according to an Economic Policy Institute study published last year.

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