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No. of Recommendations: 16
But how much would you have received between 62 and 70 and if you wait until 70, how long does it take to make that up ?

This is a common false argument. The purpose of Social Security isn't how much can you get back from the government. It is to guarantee that you have at least a minimum level of income throughout your retirement regardless of what happens to the rest of your assets.

If your financial situation is such that you can't foresee any circumstances where you would exhaust your other assets in retirement, then it doesn't matter when you take Social Security. If you are so asset poor that you can't survive between 62 and FRA (or 70) without taking Social Security, then you don't have a choice but to take it early. For those in the middle, the calculation of an "optimal" Social Security strategy is not a trivial exercise. There can be significant lifetime advantages (up to 6 figure differences) of one plan over another. Some of this information can be found in books such as "Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security" by Kotlikoff, Solman and Mueller. There is a whole new industry of Social Security advisors who specialize in running "what-if" analyses for clients. Professionals usually acquire RSSA or NSSA certification.

Disclosure: While I have neither certification, I am considering them as an adjunct to my tax practice.

Ira
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