Shouldn't I File For Social Security Now?

Dec 1 2016 - 11:00am

Hi. I am 67 and not yet taking ss. My wife started taking ss at age 62. Both retired. Every time we have had our financial advisors do a ss calculation for us, they always say wait till age 70 for me. It seems to me that this only takes into consideration net money from SS and doesn't take into account the fact that if we delay, we will necessarily be drawing down our other savings, and those savings will not therefore grow to be as much. If I instead look at what my Net Worth will be under various scenarios, it paints a much different picture, and by my very rough calculations indicates I should start taking ss asap. Am I overlooking something here?

Hi,

What you may not have considered is that if you wait until age 70, your Social Security benefit rate will be 24% higher than if you start at age 67 for as long as you live. Furthermore, if your benefit rate is higher than your wife's benefit amount and you die first, your wife will receive your higher benefit rate for as long as she lives. So, by waiting until age 70 you may be providing her with a 24% higher benefit for as long as she outlives you.

Also, it sounds like you may not be aware that you can file a restricted application for spousal benefits only on your wife's record now, and then switch to your own record at age 70. Hopefully, your financial advisors told you about this option, since you could have started drawing spousal benefits with the later of age 66 or your wife's first month of entitlement. If you haven't already filed a restricted application for just spousal benefits, you should probably do so ASAP, since there is a maximum retroactivity limit of 6 months.

You may wish to run the maximization software available on this website in order to be sure that you choose the best filing option.

Best, Jerry