The way people have been filing for social security has changed immensely as the rules have changed and the pandemic negatively impacted the economy.
What married couples used to do is file for spousal benefits while the beneficiary earning the social security would still work to delay their retirement as long as possible. That cannot happen anymore though.
People may file for social security at age 62, but if people wait until age 70, every year the benefits will go up by 8%.
In some cases it makes more sense for a lower earning spouse to start at an earlier age.
People retiring jumped 5% more between Sept. 2020 and 2021 for the ages of 65 and 69 compared to before the pandemic. However, the overall number of people applying for social security has dropped by 5%.
Normally when there’s some type of financial or economic crisis, retirement and social security applications increase, but that didn’t appear to happen this time around.
Things like stimulus checks and unemployment helped to keep people afloat as well as the stock market doing well.
People have also become more educated on what it means to wait for social security benefits to cap off at age 70, causing many to try to just hold out a bit longer.