No. of Recommendations: 1
SG, do you cover this in your retirement book for engineers?

Sorry, Alstro. I retired at age 49 so SS was so far away it didn't seem worthwhile to research it in detail. Even then, I figured that laws and regulations were likely to change dramatically before I was in a position to do something. My coverage of SS in the book is pretty much restricted to information from the Official website of the US Social Security Administration. By the way, they have THE benefits calculator (

There are many problems with trying to choose a strategy to optimize SS benefits. First, you have to make assumptions about how long you are both going to live, how long you are both going to live healthy, and how the economy is going to treat your other assets during your lifetime.

If you both will live a long, healthy life and you don't need the benefits to enjoy it, then the best strategy is for you both to postpone as long as possible.

If you both get hit by a bus at age 63, then you would have been better off taking what your could get at age 62.

I think if you don't really need SS benefits, then postponing as long as possible is the best strategy. A large COLA'd guaranteed benefit is one of the best hedges against longevity risk you can have. If you planned your retirement to last to age 90 and you live to age 103, A healthy SS benefit is going to be very valuable. And if you don't live to age 70 but you didn't need the SS benefit to live the lifestyle you desired, then the loss of benefits really won't bother you . . . unless the duality and separation of the holographic universe turns you into a bitter corpse.
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