USA Today's Sandra Block writes that Baby Boomers may be making a big mistake by retiring at 62, the first year they're eligible for Social Security benefits:
...millions of the oldest boomers may be about to make a colossal error — one that would be magnified by their record-setting longevity.
Over time, taking benefits early could mean a smaller payout, hefty taxes on their retirement savings and a heightened risk of outliving their money. In fact, the roughly 50% of the oldest boomers who the Social Security Administration estimates will tap their benefits starting this year will absorb a permanent 25% cut in benefits.
A 2004 MassINC study, The Graying of Massachusetts, warned of precisely this problem: "Many Massachusetts workers will face a stark choice in the coming years: Retire later or retire with less money." Read the report, as well as a transcript of a panel discussion of the topic, here.