What Is Our Best Strategy For SS?

Mar 27 2017 - 5:45am

Hi Larry,
What is our best strategy for SS. I will be 65 and start collecting a pension of 30k/yr next year. My SS benefit will be 2,495 @ age 66. My wife is 5 years younger and her benefit will be $1,724 at age 66 - 8 months. We have enough in our 403 b to get by if you suggest waiting to collect benefits. I read that it is best to delay ss to age 70 to get maximum benefit, but by delaying I would be "losing" 120k, an it takes many years to make up.

Hi,

There usually isn't an absolute 'best' strategy for when to claim benefits, since much depends on future events that can't be predicted. What you need to be aware of is that if you start drawing your Social Security at age 66, your monthly benefit rate will be 32% less than if you had waited until age 70, and that lower rate would carry over to the potential widow's rate that your wife could receive if you die first. If you view Social Security as insurance, which is the program's intent, waiting until age 70 in order to insure yourself and your wife of receiving the highest permanent monthly rate is usually recommended.

You may wish to consider running the maximization software available on this website to compare your options and decide on the best filing strategy for you and your wife.

Best, Jerry