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Hopefully this is an easy-peasy question, except I have been too dumb to find the answer elsewhere.

I want to maximize my SS retirement benefits by applying at age 70. My 70th birthday is late in November. Assuming I live that long, when do I tell SS that I want my benefits to begin? November, technically before I turn 70, or December?

Similarly, when does my spouse apply for spousal benefits?

Homer
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Homer,

Social Security has an excellent website.


www.ssa.gov/planners/

All the info you need will be there.

Or, you can do what my husband does and call them early in the morning with your questions. They were very helpful. They started taking phone calls at 7AM in NY City and that's when my husband would call and actually get someone to answer the phone.
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Is one month going to make that much of a difference?

You'll be already in the system since you sign up for Medicare at 65.

if you make it to 70, I'd sign up a month or two early just in case there are screw ups with the paper work.

You do realize that Baracky is now attempting to reduce the benefits you get by delaying taking your SS from 'normal retirement age' to 70. They are finding out it is 'too good a deal' for seniors and breaks the bank.

Keep you eye on the SS news.

t
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I would say to call them up ASAP, early in the morning. I'm not sure, but I think I remember seeing something on their site to the effect that you should call them 6 months before you intend to collect the payment. In any case, they are very helpful, and you can count on them to start you off on the correct date.

culcha
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I second the calling them. We went online about 6 months before DH turned 70. It was a mistake. They started it effective on his 69th birthday. Don't ask me why. He tried to get it changed, but it was going to be a real hassle!

We figured the break even point between what he would get and what it should have been at 70 was 15 years. It wasn't worth the hassle.

Also, the reduced the amount of the Feb-Jul lump sum by the amount of his Medicare premiums. He had already paid the premiums. It was a hassle getting that credited back. SS kept saying he had to call Medicare. He finally got the Medicare straight.

We found that if we had called or gone to the office there wouldn't have been that much of a problem. We're 30 miles from the office, so thought online would be easy. It ended up too easy. The application was completed before we thought it would be.

If you think this message makes it clear as mud...it was even worse.

Jean
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Thanks, Everybody.

Curiously, despite the links provided, and despite getting three pages into two different Google searches and reading those links, nothing anywhere directly answered the questions. The closest I have found is that retirement benefits will arrive in the month following the effective date, and that you may apply up to three months in advance of the effective date.

FWIW, there have been other occasions where the SS and Medicare info I was wanting did not come forthright. In this particular case, the specific information I wanted was neither readily searchable nor common knowledge. I would have thought that lots of people waited until they were 70 to draw their SS retirement benefits; something else to add to the growing list of thing I have been wrong about. :)

So I will call the SS office.

Best wishes to all,

Homer
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So I will call the SS office.


Which is what some of us told you to do in the first place.
Second hand information is just that, second hand information.
Ten people might tell you ten different things.
Call the SS office or better yet,
go in person if it's not too far away.

You can Google till the cows come home just as I have done and you will just get frustrated, just has I have been.
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