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Should I Delay Receiving Social Security Benefits?

After years of paying Social Security taxes, most seniors want to know the most advantageous option for receiving benefits. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to Social Security, many financial experts now recommend seniors delay taking their benefits, if possible, to earn the maximum amount.

NONMONETARY ADVANTAGES One advocate for delay is Gary Marriage Jr., founder and CEO of Nature Coast Financial Advisors in Crystal River, Florida. “Chances are, you’ll be better off mentally and physically if you wait anyway. Many studies show that people live longer and are more vital the longer they remain employed.”

According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration, a man reaching 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84. A woman turning 65 today has an average life expectancy of 86.

DO THE MATH Beyond living longer and the medical and psychological benefits of working in later years, the hard numbers don’t lie. According to Marriage, waiting until age 70 can provide an 8 percent per year return on your money—a number you’d be hard-pressed to beat by receiving benefits early and investing the money.

This adds up to a 32 percent gain in Social Security benefits over taking them at age 66, when many people begin receiving benefits.

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