Being smart about when you take your Social Security benefits is a key driver for your finances in retirement. Fortunately, according to the Social Security Administration, more retirees are getting smarter about their benefits by waiting longer before they make their initial claims.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, takes a closer look at the Social Security Administration's report. Dan notes that the report shows three areas in which retirees are making smarter decisions. First, the percentage of people taking Social Security at the earliest possible age of 62 has declined markedly since 2004, from 50% to 37% among men and from 52% to 42% among women. Second, more people are waiting until they reach their full retirement age, currently 66. Since 2005, those percentages have risen from 22% to 31.5% for men and from 17% to 25% for women. Finally, although the numbers are still small, the percentage of those waiting past full retirement age has doubled in recent years. Dan concludes that more people are getting smart about Social Security, but that there's plenty more work to be done to help people make the best possible choice.

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Dan Caplinger and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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