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Maximize Social Security? ... Not So Fast

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 9:15 PM

Maximize your Social Security? Not so fast - MarketWatch

"Maximizing strategies boil down to filing for Social Security as late as possible. They're based on the fact that drawing Social Security earlier—think age 62—yields a lower monthly payment, while later filing—as late as age 70—yields a higher monthly payment. If your life expectancy is average or above, filing later can mean higher total lifetime payments. That's especially true if you're married, since the two of you as a couple have an even higher life expectancy.

Seems to make sense. You paid for Social Security all your life. Why not maximize the dollars you get back?

The catch is that by maximizing, there's a trade-off: Lower payments early in retirement to get higher payments later."

As I have said all along, don't follow the general advice of filing social security at age 70 blindly.  Examine your own financial condition and the overall retirement perspective carefully and tailor your social security strategy accordingly.  This artcle provides several trade-off factors to evaluate.
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
1. Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 8:42 AM
This is one of my pet peeves.  I think we are programmed to take SS as late as possible because they are throwing the dice that many of us will be gone before we get to receive payments and the others who wait until 70 won't be getting it for more than 10 years or so.  I would rather have 20 years of lower payments taking at 62 than the other way.  I did the math on it after reading an article about the pros and cons years ago and decided "early" was better than later for us according to the difference.   People should do the math before just opting for that juicy looking higher payment for "later", imo.  Later isn't going to do one any good if they aren't around to collect.
paoli2paoli21,401 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,135
2. Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 11:13 PM
I agree! If you are single, especially, do you really want to risk having Uncle Sam keep it all in the event you die before you start collecting Social Security? I intend to start collecting SS as soon as they will let me get my grubby little hands on it!
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285