Delaying receipt of retired-worker benefits will increase the monthly benefit amount in two ways: (1) age-related increases due to smaller early-retirement reductions and/or larger delayed-retirement increases, up to age 70, and (2) increases attributable to having additional earnings that increase the average lifetime indexed earnings, up to any age, even after having become entitled to benefits. Both types of benefit increase are almost entirely within the worker’s control, if continuing to work is an option. Workers and retirees who have not yet claimed Social Security benefits should understand both types of benefit increase for purposes of sound financial planning..
Author: Bruce D. Schobel, FSA, MAAA, CLU, CEBS, is a consulting actuary in Winter Garden, Florida, who worked for SSA during 1979 through 1988 and has stayed involved in Social Security matters since then. He was staff actuary to the National Commission on Social Security Reform (the “Greenspan Commission”) that developed the framework for the Social Security Amendments of 1983.
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