Planning for Social Security

One of the great mysteries of our 60’s is when to claim your social security benefit. The dilemma is whether to start at the earliest opportunity (62), wait until full retirement age (66) or delay until 70 to receive the maximum benefit. The question is compounded when we are married and have the option to claim a spousal benefit against our spouse’s Social Security.

The timing of potentially four different claims (yours, your spouse’s and each of your spousal benefit claims) can have a significant impact on your ultimate benefit and when those benefits should start.

A new online social security calculator runs the math for each possible scenario. The site is called Open Social Security. It’s free and does not ask for your Social Security number. You’ll input your marital status, gender, birthdate and current estimated Social Security payments at 66. It will report the best strategy to maximize the Social Security benefits you and your spouse will receive over your lifetime(s).

The best way to solve the Social Security dilemma is to do your homework. Taking a look at the math for your situation is the information you need to plot your financial future.

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