Ask Larry

What's the Best Strategy for Non-Grandfathered Singles?

Hi, I am a single man, born in 1955 and do not have children. I live with a sibling 3 years younger who is also single without children. Are there any special social security rules or strategies that we can employ to maximize our future benefits? We are not on SSDI, we both work. Thank you.

Since you were under 62 on January 1st, your best option is simply to wait until 70 to collect your retirement benefits. You benefit starting at 70 will be 76 percent higher than if you take it at 62 and that's adjusted for inflation. This presumes you have a pretty high maximum age of life. If not, our software can figure out when you should start taking your retirement benefit.

It's also never too late to get married especially to someone who has had a much higher earnings record and is a lot older. After 9 months, you'll be eligible for widow(er) benefits if they die. Unfortunately, you can't marry one another given that you're siblings, although now that gay marriage is legal, perhaps the courts would allow this. In that case, the lower earner would receive the higher earner's check were the higher earner to die first.

best, Larry

Jun 4 2016 - 5:45pm
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