Social Security provides an important retirement benefit for most Americans. One of the most important decisions people have regarding their Social Security benefits is when to take them. Generally speaking, retirees can start drawing benefits between age 62 and 70, with each payment increasing the longer a person waits.

You'll face many trade-offs when deciding when to take your Social Security benefits, and hard-and-fast rules are few and far between. Still, if you're trying to figure out when to take your benefits, there are at least three good reasons to consider starting early:

  • If you really need the money.
  • If you don't expect to live as long as the average Social Security recipient.
  • If you're a decent investor and can use your Social Security check to cover costs you'd otherwise pull from your investment accounts.

The brief slideshow below goes into more details around why those reasons may help it make sense for you to take your benefits early.