Social Security timing strategies

Recently, I've run some numbers regarding the value of delaying taking Social Security.
It's really quite amazing, and pretty easy to see when you're talking
about a single person putting off taking it for a year. But when you get a couple, particularly when both of them have earnings, it can get very complicated.
This article I saw today explains a couple of the issues pretty well:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2012/10/12/social-security-benefits-retirement/1629553/
The author, Scott McLeod, a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor, answers a specific question regarding a spouse taking benefits, but in the process, he adds some great information about a couple of strategies:

Some good stuff there.
Also, Larry Kotlikoff has a regular column on pgs.org now about Social Security and related issues. Always worth reading: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/10/ask-larry-can-a-thirty-something-in-good-health-collect-social-security.html
--
David S. Meyers, CFP®
http://www.MeyersMoney.com
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An unusual method for high income people is to file for Social Security more than a year before they need it, when they already have enough other income to live on. They invest the Social Security funds received for a little less than a year. As the one year anniversary aproaches, they "reboot" their Social Security by withdrawing their original application, and paying back all the Social Security funds received, but not the interest gained by investing the funds. At some point in the future, they submit another Social Security application, and start receiving their "real" Social Security payments.
This gives them a bit more flexibility in deciding when to actually go on Social Security. They can only use this technique one time, by submitting this form less than a year after they started on Social Security:
http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-521.pdf
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Speaking of timing gov't retirement "benefits", a yahoo article on medicare made things sound simple enough to sound worrisome. If things don't change (for better or worse) there are pitfalls about signing up for or changing one plan, then failing to enroll in time for another: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/10-things-you-must-know-about-medicare-19053698.html

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The spousal benefit works.
In addition there is an advantage of delaying SS until the age of 70.
Bad health such as CVD, diabetes, cancer, et cetera are good reasons for taking SS early.
--
Ron



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