Social Security retirement claiming grew in 2009 as unemployment soared. The increase was modest, however, because unemployment growth at older ages was largely offset by growth in the number of older adults choosing to work longer. Half of women and more than half of men now wait until after age 62 to claim their retirement benefits, the largest proportions in decades. The recent increase in Social Security's full retirement age has prompted many retirees to wait at least until they turn 66 years old to begin collecting benefits, as a quarter of men now claim at that age or later.
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