Should you always wait until 70 to claim your Social Security benefit? The answer to that is a resounding NO. For those that fall into the age range of 62 (as of December 31, 2015) to 70, have other options available that can greatly improve your income stream: Hence, the 66/70 strategy.
How do you find out about such things? Well, you can try and navigate the internet, but that comes with logic gaps and internet computer flaws. Or, you can have a NSSA professional review your situation and give you advice or provide options from which to choose. Listening to family and friends is not a good choice – why? Because their advice has nothing to do with your story – your highest 35 years of earnings history is the basis for your Social Security benefit, and that story cannot be duplicated. What was right for them may not be right for you. And when you include your spouse’s story, for optimal claiming strategies, you have another story that cannot be duplicated. Pillars LLC looks at your situation collectively, not individually.
If you and your spouse are close in age, the 66/70 strategy could possibly be the option for you. One of you files early (meaning age 66); the other files a Restricted Application for Spousal Benefit, and receives one half of the benefit of the first spouse. You receive a monthly check while your benefit grows at 8% per year to age 70 (or whenever you decide to file) due to the Delayed Retirement Credit. But along with this strategy comes the following questions: Who should file first? How will this affect our taxes? What about Earnings Limitations? Can we switch strategies mid-stream? How can we improve our Survivor Benefit? What about Widow/Widower benefits? Should I take this benefit early with a 28.5% reduction? If divorced can I file off my ex-spouse and wait on my benefit? Or, if divorced should I take my benefit first and draw on theirs at a later date? Can my family draw off my benefit if I am receiving Disability Benefits?
These questions, along with many, many more need to be answered before you file for benefits. Please remember, that your Social Security benefit is basically a permanent filing decision. Put yourself in the position to tell the Social Security office what you are filing for…..all questions being answered and all options have been reviewed.
Roy and Diane Thompson are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of 40 years. Their guidance and direction will make a difference for you and your family. You may contact Pillars LLC on our website at www.pillarsllc.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply give us a call at 601-954-0699. We are located in Corinth, MS but assist clients throughout the United States.