Ask Rusty – Will My Wife’s Benefit Change My Claiming Decision?

(Letter to the Editor)

Dear Rusty: I’ll be 69 in April 2023, and my wife will be 59 later this month. I’m still working and am trying to determine whether I should take Social Security at 69 or 70. My main question revolves around my wife’s future Social Security benefits and how they will affect my decision on whether to start mine at 69 or 70. I would like to know how to map this all out. Signed: Waiting but Wondering

Dear Waiting: Since you’re now 68 and not yet collecting benefits, you have been (since you were 66) earning Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs) which will result in an increased personal Social Security benefit for as long as you delay claiming, up to age 70 when your maximum benefit is reached. If you claim at age 69, your benefit will be 24% more than it would have been at your full retirement age (FRA) of 66; if you wait until age 70 to claim your benefit will be 32% more than it would have been at 66 (8% additional benefit for waiting that extra year).

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