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Showing posts from November, 2012

Social Security Claiming Strategies

What can married couples do to increase joint lifetime benefits? What is your “magic number”? Roughly half of retirees claim Social Security benefits at age 62, as soon as they become eligible. Some people delay benefits and postpone using their retirement savings as an income source. Others apply out of necessity; their financial situation leaves them little choice. 1 These factors aside, what if you have a choice? If you wait a few years to apply for Social Security, how much more income might you realize? Could you wait until age 66? The Social Security Administration has made 66 the “full” retirement age for people born during 1943-1954. If you were born in this period and you apply for Social Security at age 62, you will reduce your retirement benefit by 25% and your spouse’s by 30%. 2,3 That alone might convince you to wait. In addition, there are claiming strategies that may bring spouses much greater cumulative lifetime Social Security income, and they depend on