Weekend Reading: Why Delayed Social Security Claiming is More Valuable Than Ever

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

If you’ve accumulated enough savings to support your lifestyle in retirement, the formula for delaying Social Security will work in your favor, no matter which way you slice the pie. Read the article from Think Advisor below.


Formula flaws: The government expects to pay your benefit for about one less year, each year you delay; however, you’re living longer, and that means more time to accrue that money. The average American now has a 1 in 5 chance of living to age 95, and for the highest-income healthy Americans, that probability jumps to about 1 in 2. Additionally, while interest rates today are historically low, discount rates for the inflation-protected income provided through Social Security are even lower.

It’s estimated in the article that a healthy male earning $100,000 a year would gain about $154,821 in benefits by delaying Social Security until age 70, instead of claiming at age 62. The case can be made to show even more wealth for healthy, high-income women because the Social Security formula doesn’t take into consideration gender, and women are living even longer.

If benefits run bankrupt: In the event, the government takes no action, benefits could be reduced up to 21 percent in 2026. However, even if this cut does occur, that healthy, $100,000-salary-male still pockets $100,721 in benefits.

Plan purposefully: While it’s important to recognize the benefits of delaying Social Security, it’s even more crucial to integrate your filing strategy with your comprehensive financial plan. Don’t look at Social Security in a vacuum. By taking benefits early, it’s still possible to have more money in retirement than you would if you delayed, especially for the wealthy. You could reinvest the income, or spend those benefits and continue to let your wealth compound.