When Should I Apply For Social Security Benefits?

Dec 10 2016 - 10:30am

My wife retired at 62 to take care of aging mother and help daughters with our grandchildren. I am still working and just turned 65 and filed for Medicare. My goal is to keeping working as long as God gives me good mind and health, so would start taking SS at age 70. So when I turn 66, I need to file and suspend? So when I turn 70, I can go to SS website and say I am ready to start collecting? Is that all I need to do?
Also, If between age of 66 and 70, while I am in file and suspend mode, If I would die, could my wife receive my SS based on say the age 69 value (if that is when I die) versus the FRA age 66 value of my SS? Another 24% would mean a big difference! Thank you for your help!

Hi,

There doesn't appear to be any reason for you to file and suspend at age 66. There would be no advantage to doing that over simply waiting until age 70 to apply.

Any delayed retirement credits (DRC) you earn by waiting past age 66 to start drawing your benefits would carry over to your wife's potential widow's benefit rate. DRCs accrue the same whether you file and suspend, or simply don't apply for benefits. So, if you were to die between ages 66 & 70 without having drawn any of your benefits, your wife would get credit for all of the DRCs you had accrued up until the time of your death.

Best, Jerry