Forced to Early Social Security, Unemployed Pay a Steep Price

This retirement oasis in the desert has long beckoned those who want to spin out their golden years playing golf and sitting by the pool in the arid sunshine.

Even as most Americans are delaying retirement to bolster their savings accounts, the recession and its protracted aftermath have forced many older people who are out of work to draw Social Security much earlier than they had planned.

According to an analysis by Steve Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, about 200,000 more people filed initial claims in 2009 and 2010 than the agency had predicted before the recession and he said the trend most likely continued in 2011 and 2012, though that is harder to quantify. The most likely reason is joblessness.

As recently as a decade ago, half of those eligible claimed Social Security at 62. But that share has been falling because people are living longer and still want to work as well as shore up retirement funds. That makes it even more galling for those who are forced to claim early because of unemployment.

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