Boosting social security benefits for widows

The March 2014 issue of Financial Planning has an interesting article about claiming social security benefits.  Thanks to changes in the social security rules made in 2000 and our improvements in mortality, it is becoming more financially advantageous to delay filing for Social Security benefits past your full retirement date.  Workers born after 1943 and later receive an 8%  increase in benefits for every year they delay.

With many people working past the traditional age of retirement, families should consider delaying if they can afford to do so.  The authors state that:

The main conclusion is that the gains from delay are particularly large for primary earners in married couples, because when a primary earner delays social Security, it boosts the survivor benefit that the secondary earner would receive in the event of widowhood.

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