Social Security Strategies for Singles
In this second of a three-part series on claiming Social Security benefits, we present two of the four key points we hope to convey.
The first is that individuals and couples should use two criteria when deciding when they will begin benefits. The second key point is that the breakeven age when cumulative lifetime benefits for the single individual will be approximately equal no matter what age benefits actually begin is 80. To assist with explaining our analysis, we have included Table 1, which shows the age requirements for Social Security eligibility, from last month’s article “Social Security Basics” (AAII Journal, October 2013).
The strategies in this article assume that no one else can receive benefits based on the individual’s earnings record. If a spouse, children or parents can receive benefits based on the single’s earnings record, then the material presented here is not sufficient to make the claiming decision. The strategies further assume no pension is received from work not covered by Social Security (e.g., public-school teachers, police officers, firefighters and other government employees). Finally, the strategies are based on the current promises of the Social Security system, which may change.
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William Meyer is founder and CEO of Social Security Solutions Inc., a service that provides personalized recommendations as to when to claim Social Security benefits.