A Comparison of Free Online Tools for Individuals Deciding When to Claim Social Security Benefits

by Patricia P. Martin and Dale Kintzel
Research and Statistics Note No. 2016-03 (released December 2016)
Table equivalent for Chart 1. Percentage distribution of nondisabled retired-worker benefit awards by age of claimant: By sex, 2015
Age Men Women
62 40.2 46.6
63 7.7 8.0
64 7.2 8.3
65 12.8 12.5
66 (at FRA) a 21.1 14.5
66 (after FRA) 3.8 2.5
67–69 4.7 3.7
70 or older 2.7 4.1
SOURCE: Authors' calculations based on SSA (2016a, Table 6.B5.1).
NOTES: Data are shown by age at entitlement. Entitlement may be retroactive and therefore precede the award date.
Rounded components of percentage distributions do not sum to 100.0.
a. In the first month of age 66.
Table equivalent for Chart 2. Nonretiree views on availability and adequacy of information on Social Security benefits, 2015 (in percent)
Survey statement Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
I would like to receive more information from Social Security about my benefits and planning for my retirement. 9 19 46 26
I can easily find the information I want/need about my Social Security retirement eligibility and benefits. 11 29 49 12
I currently have enough information about my Social Security retirement eligibility and benefits. 31 28 31 9
SOURCE: University of Southern California, Understanding America Study (preliminary results for July 2015–January 2016).
NOTE: Rounded components of percentage distributions do not necessarily sum to 100.
Table equivalent for Chart 3. Nonretiree views on conducting Social Security transactions using online resources or in-person contact with a representative, 2015 (in percent)
Survey statement Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
I am comfortable performing online transactions related to my Social Security benefits. 17 21 40 21
Information provided in person by a Social Security representative is more relevant to me and my specific situation than the information I can find on the website. 10 28 46 16
SOURCE: University of Southern California, Understanding America Study (preliminary results for July 2015–January 2016).
NOTE: Rounded components of percentage distributions do not necessarily sum to 100.