• 73°

Social Security Matters: Ask Rusty – Should I claim Social Security now or wait until I’m 70?

By AMAC Certified Social Security Advisor Russell Gloor, Association of Mature American Citizens

Dear Rusty: I’m currently 67 years old and still working full time. I took a big financial hit in 2008, which is why I’m still working, and I expect to continue working until I’m 70. My question is: should I take Social Security now, bank it until I’m 70, and then pay it out to myself upon retirement? Or would it be better to hold off until I’m 70 to claim. Longevity of about 85 seems to run in my family. Signed: Working Senior

Dear Working Senior: I’m afraid there’s no simple answer to your question, but I’ll give you some points to ponder.

If you don’t need the money right now, and you expect to enjoy at least average longevity (about 85 for a man your current age), then waiting until you’re 70 will give you the maximum monthly benefit and the most in cumulative lifetime Social Security benefits if you meet average longevity. And if you live beyond the average, your cumulative lifetime benefits will be correspondingly more. Since you’ve already delayed past your full retirement age (66) you are already earning delayed retirement credits (DRCs) at the rate of 8% for each full year you delay (the maximum Social Security benefit is reached at age 70).

Can you do better than an 8% annual increase by claiming now and saving or investing the money? That would be the main point to evaluate, and only you know your investment options. But you should also consider that – if you should die before your wife and she has reached her full retirement age – your wife will get 100% of the benefit you are receiving at your death. If you claim earlier (e.g., now), your wife will get that earlier smaller amount as your widow. Compare that to what she’ll get by you waiting until age 70 to claim, when your benefit will be about 24% more than it is now. Again, something for you to consider.

If you claim at age 70 you will have collected about the same amount of money at age 82 as if you had claimed now. That is your “breakeven” point, which is where your expected longevity comes into play. If you think you will beat the average and you do, you’ll collect much more in total lifetime Social Security benefits by waiting until you are 70 to claim. Of course, no one knows how long they will live, but if your family history suggests a long life and you’re in good health now, delaying is usually a prudent choice. That is, however, a decision only you can make.

FOR MORE COLUMNS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, CHECK OUT OUR OPINION SECTION HERE.

News

North Carolina gas prices see slight decline

Schools

Tyrrell Elementary School receives $25k grant

Lifestyles

Banner tells history of Salvo Community Cemetery and erosion

Crime

Police in North Carolina make arrest in fatal shooting

Crime

Former North Carolina investment advisor loses appeal, judgement affirmed

Crime

Two wounded in early morning shooting Sunday in North Carolina

News

North Carolina officials say high school sports governing deal reached in principle

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for charges related to drug trafficking

Lifestyles

Dare County Arts Council announces courtyard opening day event

News

Supporters of North Carolina man freed from prison gather outside Executive Mansion, call on governor for formal pardon

Lifestyles

Scuppernong River Festival to welcome Miss North Carolina Carli Batson as special guest

Crime

Prosecutors: Getaway car used by bank robber came from dealership test drive

Business

New private Christian school in Moyock celebrates grand opening

Lifestyles

Dare Radio Control Flyers public flying event to benefit food bank

Currituck

Aviation Day event in Barco to features aircraft displays, fly-ins, food trucks and more

Lifestyles

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist service canceled

Business

Sandra Buss named Employee of the Month at The Outer Banks Hospital

Business

Outer Banks Chamber holds ribbon cutting for AR® Workshop Kill Devil Hills

News

Oregon Inlet catch: State certifies new state record golden tilefish

Crime

Police: Woman shot after trying to run over officer in North Carolina

News

Fall striped bass season set in Albemarle Sound Management Area

Crime

Feds: Three people charged in multi-state migrant worker conspiracy

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to more than 19 years in prison for ammunition charges

News

Dare Tourism Board awards 10 grants for upcoming events