Ask Larry

Is It Worth It To Wait Until Age 70?

Is it worth waiting to age 70 for max SS monthly benefits if I have pretty much contributed the max during most all working years and continue to work FT as a professional?

Hi. It certainly could be worth it to wait, but each person much decide that for themselves. If you wait past full retirement age (FRA) to start drawing your Social Security retirement benefits, you earn delayed retirement credits (DRC). DRCs increase a person's benefit rate by 2/3rds of 1% for each month that they wait past FRA to start drawing. Depending on your year of birth, waiting until age 70 would result in a lifetime monthly benefit rate that's anywhere from 24% to 32% higher than the benefit rate you'd get if you start drawing at FRA (

Furthermore, the increased monthly benefit rate that a person receives by earning DRCs can potentially be passed on to their widow in the form of survivor benefits.

Continuing to work and pay into Social Security can also potentially increase your retirement benefit rate. Social Security retirement benefits are calculated based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings. That calculation establishes the person's primary insurance amount, or PIA. No matter how long you continue working, you can continue to increase your PIA if you earn more in a year than you did in one or more of the 35 years on which your current PIA is based. Any DRCs earned would then be applied to the resulting higher PIA.

You may want to strongly consider using our software ( to fully analyze all of your various options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Jan 21 2022 - 4:06pm
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