photo of blank Social Security card 38 percent of retirees say they wish they'd waitedtill they were older to claim Social Security benefits. (Photo:Shutterstock)

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Regrets? They've had a few, say retirees — especially aroundSocial Security.

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According to the 2019 MassMutual Social Security Pulse Check,commissioned in collaboration with AgeFriendly.com, 38 percent ofretirees say they wish they'd waited till they were older to claimSocial Security benefits.

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While 30 percent of respondents say they filed at age 62 or evenyounger, it wasn't necessarily because they wanted to; 53 percentfiled for benefits out of financial necessity, such as not havingenough money to get by in retirement without claiming benefits, andanother 30 percent said they ran into problems that compelled themto file—like losing a job or developing a health problem.

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Related: 11 Social Security facts you need toknow

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They're losing a lot of money by claiming so early, but whenpeople have no choice they're forced to give up the additionalfunds that would have accrued had they been able to hold off.

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In fact, according to MassMutual, a married couple expecting tolive into their early 90s "could be leaving more than a halfmillion dollars on the table—or as much as $2,000–$4,000 per monthfor life—by filing for Social Security retirement benefits at age62 versus filing at age 70."

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And if that's not bad enough, the report adds, a survivingspouse could end up taking a penalty of $1,000–$2,000 less everymonth for the rest of their lifetime by filing at age 62 instead ofwaiting till later.

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"People not being able to sustain for very long on what they'vesaved appears to be a common occurrence today," Mike Fanning, headof MassMutual U.S., is quoted saying. Fanning adds, "This studyreveals that many are leaving money on the table that they'reeligible for—and that they could have received for many years tocome."

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Interestingly, most respondents—a whopping 79 percent—said theyhad the right amount of information about when to file for benefitsat the time they did so, and 58 percent didn't get help or adviceon the issue.

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However, MassMutual points out, every situation is different;circumstances could warrant another strategy to maximize benefitamounts to better see retirees through what could be a longretirement.

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READ MORE:

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2020 Medicare premium hike could wipe outSocial Security COLA for many retirees

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Alicia Munnell: The Social Security fix nobodywants

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Ward off clients' retirement crisis with SocialSecurity talk

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.