If you’ve read previous articles that I’ve written on Social Security, you probably know that I’m a fan of delaying benefits until age 70 (at least for the primary income earner).
Ideally if a spouse can delay their own Social Security until age 70, it will provide maximum payments for them and the subsequent surviving spouse. It also reduces investment portfolio withdrawal rates, allowing them to last longer.
In conversations that I have with others, I often hear them say that they like the idea of delaying benefits but they couldn’t imagine working until the age of 70. This leads me to believe that they may have bought into a misconception. The recommendation is to delay activating the Social Security benefit until a later age should not be confused with having to WORK until a later age.
Keep in mind that there is no law that requires you to activate your Social Security the month after you stop working. In many cases a robust Social Security planning strategy may suggest delaying the activation for a certain number of months or years following the end of the work.
What we do need to get a handle on in these circumstances is that we do need an alternative source of income during the delay phase. This could be part-time income, but not necessarily so. Many investors have enough investment assets saved to provide for this income bridge. Others are in the position to activate a short-term reverse mortgage for the period of years needed. There are multiple options, but don’t choose to not delay taking your Social Security just because this is when you’ve decided to retire.
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