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Friday, February 23, 2024

Shock! It Doesn’t All the time Pay to Delay Social Safety Until 70

That is the third in a brand new sequence of columns about Social Safety and retirement earnings planning.

Final week, ThinkAdvisor printed the second in a sequence of case research meant to assist educate advisors and their purchasers in regards to the nuances of Social Safety claiming. The outcome — through which delayed claiming of advantages didn’t yield the largest whole lifetime payouts — appears to have shocked some readers.

The case concerned a married couple, Bruce and Debbie, of practically the identical age (born in 1962) however with very completely different work histories. Particularly, Bruce is a excessive lifetime earner, whereas Debbie didn’t earn sufficient credit to be eligible for Social Safety advantages from her personal work report.

Each spouses have a full retirement age of 67, however given the particulars of their scenario, Debbie can not start amassing spousal advantages till Bruce recordsdata his personal software — and that’s an important reality within the closing evaluation. Additionally, if Bruce takes advantages earlier than his full retirement age, he won’t solely cut back his personal profit but additionally the widow’s profit payable to Debbie if she survives him.

What appeared to confuse some readers, as encapsulated by a query shared with me by one Rick S., was that the optimum claiming technique doesn’t require both Bruce or Debbie to delay claiming till age 70. In any case, doesn’t the traditional knowledge say that delayed claiming is all the time superior?

As this and different future case research will present, guidelines of thumb are useful for kick-starting broader conversations and instructing key earnings planning ideas, however each specific case has its personal peculiarities and issues. That is why recommendation on Social Safety claiming is each in excessive demand and extremely useful for purchasers — although additionally it is, sadly, very scarce for middle-class and lower-income Individuals who’ve essentially the most at stake in getting claiming proper.

When Guidelines of Thumb Fall Quick

“I had a query about your article on Feb. 9 relating to the case of a high-earning husband,” Rick wrote in. “It provides the state of affairs of each of them ready till age 70 to file, however I’ve been instructed and skim elsewhere {that a} spousal profit doesn’t proceed to develop after they hit full retirement age. … As a result of her quantity wouldn’t go up after she reached age 67, what could be the profit for the partner to attend till age 70?”

The state of affairs in query entails Bruce and Debbie counting on outdoors funds early in retirement and delaying claiming till Bruce can get his most employee’s profit. Particularly, if Bruce waits till late 2032 to file for his most profit at age 70, he would get a month-to-month cost of $2,854.

Debbie might then file on the identical time for her full spousal advantage of $1,151, and she or he would turn out to be entitled to a most $2,854 survivor profit for 2 years, based mostly on the couple’s life expectations. With this method, the couple would generate a collective lifetime whole advantage of $773,423, with $516,574 paid to Bruce and $256,849 paid to Debbie.

Whereas this delayed claiming technique is projected to be superior to 2 early claiming eventualities reviewed within the case examine, Rick is appropriate that it isn’t the optimum technique. In response to the case examine, the optimum claiming technique would truly contain Bruce submitting at age 67 in late 2029 for his full employee advantage of $2,302. Debbie might file on the identical time for her full spousal advantage of $1,151, and she or he would ultimately turn out to be eligible for a full survivor advantage of $2,302.

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