Steve Busby

Over 60 and considering when to claim SS benefits.
Regards, Steve

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Nov 10, 2015
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When to Claim SS Benefits
by: John Howe

Steve,

Thanks for posting on Frugal Senior.

There are many considerations concerning when to start taking SS benefits.

I am 72 and I waited until 70 to start drawing since both my parents lived to 89 and I am in good health and I am still working. By waiting until 70, I increased my monthly benefit by 32% versus starting benefits at 66. I must live until I am between 82 – 83 to break even as compared to starting to take SS at my full retirement age which was 66.

There is some good information at http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/articles/When-Should-You-Take-Social-Security

This is the first one I Googled. I am not recommending Charles Schwab, but the site has good info and is easy to understand. The info on it will help you with your decision.

My advice is to wait as long as you can in order to receive higher benefits, but that decision is based on your health, your life expectancy, and your financial situation.

Don’t forget that the higher your retirement benefits, the higher survivor benefits you will leave your spouse if you pass before she does.

Take note that the section in the Charles Schwab page about Changing Your Mind has been eliminated so do not consider that.

Also, at the end of October, 2015, the budget law that was enacted changed a couple of detailed points about SS. Be aware of these changes since many websites will not be updated and will still claim that they are possible.

The budget compromise makes two fundamental changes in Social Security. First, it denies a worker the opportunity to take a spousal benefit and simultaneously delay his or her own worker benefit. Second, it stops the "file and suspend" technique, where a worker files for retirement benefits then suspends them in order to generate a spousal benefit.

Good luck and enjoy your retirement.

John Howe

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