I’m not as dumb as I look. But I have to confess that on the subject of Social Security, I’ve been like “duhhhhh.” It’s just recently that I have started to give Social Security more than a passing glance. And it’s like “Wow!” While I have reached that magical “full retirement age” (for me – 66) where I can collect my full Social Security benefits and yet still work full time, I have decided to wait. If I wait one year, I collect an added 8% annual benefit. Waiting two years – another 8%. Benefits go up 8% each year until age 70. At that other magical age – 70 – there is no incentive to forestall collecting benefits.
Now here’s something I didn’t know. Donna has been collecting Social Security since age 63 since waiting – for her – would not mean much. Now that we have reached age 66, she can collect benefits on my Social Security while I suspend collecting on my own. That nearly doubles the monthly payout. I could have actually applied for Social Security under Donna’s benefit but that would have delivered about $50 less per month than having Donna claim under mine. And by waiting to collect on my own Social Security, the benefit continues to go up for Donna in the event I get hit by a bus while walking home from the train station. Frankly the chances of that happening are not as great as me suddenly keeling over while sitting at the compute. . . . . (thud) . . . .