Asked by Sherylin  |  Submitted May 19, 2015

I am three years older than my husband, but his income is significantly higher than mine. What is the best strategy for drawing Social Security?

I was born in 1964, my husband in 1967. Just trying to figure out what's best - -file and suspend, etc., and who should do what?

Report Question Report

  Leave Answer

Sign in to MoneyTips
By submitting you agree to our Terms of Service

  Answers  |  1

May 20, 2015

Hi Sherylin...I love, love, love that you're asking this question as early as you are - it's truly encouraging to be planning ahead. We frequently recommend that retirees delay taking Social Security until age 70 to increase their lifetime retirement income or at a minimum, at full retirement age (FRA) which is 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

That being said (you probably won't like this answer), my answer depends on having a better idea of the big picture; a full financial snapshot if you will. Part of maximizing your social security income is understanding what you have in qualified plans, what you will need in your retirement years because managing the distributions from them will dictate the taxation on your Social Security income.

If you aren't careful, exceeding specific income thresholds can cause up to 85% of Social Security to be included as taxable income; said thresholds are explicitly NOT indexed to inflation. Translation: the fiscal problems facing the country are so profound that the tax rates will be higher in the future and Congress elected to allow for automatic increases in the taxation of Social Security benefits.

So, whether it be our firm or one near you, do get an analysis on where you stand today (Point A) and where you want to go (Point B) by focusing on taxes, taxes, taxes. The biggest item that will affect your income ultimately will be taxes. Make sure you speak to someone who understands the implications of such on your financial future - we're experts at managing those ripples and would be more than happy to help you. Best of luck to you and your husband.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 09.30.20 @ 14:44