In a perfect world, most would consider waiting until their full retirement age to file for Social Security. The longer you wait to claim your retirement benefit, your monthly Social Security payment becomes larger. However, some seniors apply for Social Security at age 62 as soon as they are eligible.
One of the reasons people apply at the age of 62 is they are attracted to a regular income stream. That attraction may grow if you find you need to retire sooner rather than later, and many people retire sooner than they anticipate. Looking at the 2022 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Retirement Institute (EBRI), 41% of workers aged 55 or older think they will retire after age 65; 29% believe they will retire at age 70 or later or never retire. Reality differs: EBRI polled more than 1,000 retirees this spring and found that 69% had retired before age 65. Many of us could live into our eighties or nineties or even beyond. Meanwhile, some of us are contending with chronic health issues or potential hereditary diseases. Claiming the “reduced” benefit available before you reach Social Security’s full retirement age may make sense with all factors considered. The takeaway from all this is that claiming Social Security benefits is very much an individual choice – there is no “right moment” for everyone, just the moment that feels right to you with your financial picture in mind. 
Stay Healthy as You See the World
Travel is certainly a highlight of retirement. To keep those travel highlights coming, you need to keep healthy, including taking care of yourself “on the road” and at your destination.
Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control regularly post COVID-19 Travel Health Notices? Check them (cdc.gov) to see if a surge is happening where you want to go. In the air or on the train, keep your mask on. Be sure, as well, to keep your hands (and surfaces) clean and travel boosted. If you have food allergies and are going overseas or on a cruise, think about traveling with a card that spells them out in English and whatever languages are native to where you are traveling – and pack snacks you may need them. A basic first aid kit may prove helpful – one with such standbys as cold and flu medicine, antibiotic wound care products, motion sickness pills, and anti-itch creams. The party atmosphere on cruises can encourage binge eating and drinking. To stave off the effects, think about having multi-grain cereal or oatmeal to start the day and limiting yourself to one dietary indulgence per day and one glass of wine rather than one or more sugary, comparatively high-calorie mixed drinks. Lastly, carrying a card that notifies others of any medical conditions you have can be prudent should something unforeseen happen. 
On the Bright Side
The 2022 annual report from Medicare and Social Security trustees says that as it stands now, Social Security will be able to pay out full benefits to recipients through 2035; in 2021, the estimate was through 2034. As for Medicare, its trust fund may be depleted in 2028, improved from the 2021 forecast of 2026. These estimates assume that Congress will not act before these dates to pass laws directing more money into the respective trust funds. 
1 – Employee Benefit Research Institute, April 28, 2022
2 – New York Times, June 5, 2022
3 – NBC News, June 3, 2022
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