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Subject:  Social Security 62/65 Article Date:  3/14/2000  11:51 AM
Author:  telone Number:  2875 of 20640

Dear Pixy: Thx for a very thorough and well-written article on the subject of social security -- 65 or 62.

Regarding the statement that "taking the reduced benefit at 62 permanently reduces the benefits," mnay I add that the SS rules allow a person who started taking reduced benefits at 62 to exercise an option at 65 (or any age between 62-65) of "buying back" those "before-65-years" by paying back to the SS those benefits previously received and then "upgrading" the benefit to the current time of the buy-back. Thus, at age 64 and 9 months, if a person's "ship came in," the person could pay back to SS the 2 and 3/4 years of previously received reduced benefits, then go on to claim the SS benefits due at 64 and 3/4 years.

Also, if one is happily employed, there is an added SS benefit of 5.5% per year (above inflation, wage gains, etc) for every work year beyond 65 for folks like me born in 1934. This added benefit (about $1,000 per year) is far greater in magnitude than any enhanced benefit from replacing a higher earnings year (by working longer) in the 35-high-years-calculation (added benenefit about $150 per year) for benefits since the higher earnings years play a greatly reduced role (percentage-wise) in the SS benefit calculations. And, the higher benefit may provide a spouse a higher benefit (than from the spouse's own work record) once the person retires and will also provide her with this higher enhanced benefit if the person were to "bite the dust."

I'm not advocating this option for anyone -- just providing some information. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal choice.
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