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Why not let one of you start early and the other late?

I don;t know how to crunch the numbers to figure out if it's a good deal for us.

Preferably the one with the higher income ans shorter life expectancy start late.

I'm not convinced that DH, with the higher benefit and a whopping 5 months in age on me(!), will be the first to shuffle off this mortal coil. Other than his micro-strokes, a one-time event a few years ago that hasn't been repeated, he's been far healthier than me. We've been assuming he'd outlive me--but in case we're wrong, giving me 100% survivor on his pension. It's add shades of grey to me.

By starting only one of our SS benefits, even if the other takes the 50% spousal benefit, we'd have to shell out a lot more from assets every month. I just don't know if that makes sense. Spending extra money every month makes me nervous--funny, but spending one big lump sum for the 12-month reboot doesn't bother me as much--go figure. I guess it feels more like an investment with an 8% return.

Are any of you aware of online calculators I could plug our numbers into to help figure this out? Or, if I provide the numbers, could any of you make the calculations?

SG, do you cover this in your retirement book for engineers?

When I read online articles about starting one SS benefit early and the other later, the situations just don't seem applicable. First, we're already past 62. Second, as of Dec 31, we're both already retired. Third, we're the same age. Fourth, we'll be receiving 2/3 of our income from SS if we both start collecting in full in 2013. (Actually that 2/3 number is in a gelatinous state...if I were comfortable taking 4% of the income-producing portfolio, it would be different. But I'm planning to take between 1 and 2% and have notations for every year on the extra amount, which I call the slush fund--for things like hurricane deductible, new car, deciding to take a villa in Europe for a few months with our BFFs, hearing aids, assisted living...)
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