Should I Delay Filing Until After Age 70?

Mar 22 2017 - 7:45am

I will turn 70 in December 2017. To maximize my benefit, I delayed applying for my SS benefits till age 70.
I am still working and expect to earn in 2017 more than the max SS taxable earnings cutoff ($127200)
Since I have less than 35 previous years with significant SS income, can I delay collecting until January 2018 and thereby add 2017 to the 35 years averaged for benefit calculation?
According to the online calculator, this will add $66 to my monthly benefit and will cover the lost month of benefits within 3.5 years.
It seems that if I start collecting exactly at age 70 in 12/2017, my 2017 income does not count towards benefit calculation. Is that correct? Thanks!

Hi,

No, you should not delay starting your benefits beyond age 70. Your 2017 earnings can be used in calculating your benefit rate effective with your payment for January 2018, regardless of whether or not you start drawing benefits before then. So, if you delay taking benefits until January 2018, you'll simply be forfeiting your benefit payment for December 2017.

Social Security will automatically recalculate your benefit rate to include your 2017 earnings, but probably not until the latter part of 2018. You should be able to speed up the process by submitting proof of your earnings (e.g. 2017 W-2 form) and requesting a manual recomputation.

Best, Jerry