When I browse the Motley Fool Website, I see an advertisement that says "I Can't Believe This $16,728 Social Security Bonus Was So Easy", and it seems a fraud.

Does any one on this forum have information (positive/negative) about that claim?


Based on the review in this video, it's not a "fraud", just clickbait to get you to sign up to their newsletters. The gist of the argument is that the longer you wait to start drawing Social Security, the more your benefits are.

The difference seems to be more than just time value of money, though. It's a significant increase to delay benefit payments (possibly to give Social Security a few more years of life). Some people can afford to wait - some can't.

  • It's probably a significant increase because some (many?) of those delaying payments won't live long enough for the higher payment to make up for the lost ones... – Michael Jan 14 at 20:23

Ben Miller addressed the Fool's claim nicely in the link.

I'd add that there are specific circumstances where a surviving spouse has several options that can maximize survivor benefits. These can amount to $10k to $25k more, depending on the age of the survivor as well as the deceased.

The short answer is that it may be a better decision to accept the survivor benefit (minimum age 60) and switch to your own benefit after age 66, achieving maximum growth. Of course, all of this is based on longevity.

I read about this quite some time ago in Kiplinger magazine. I assume that it hasn't been legislated away and if anyone wants details, I'll scrounge around and see if I can find the article.

  • Thanks , so initially one can take benefits from spouse and later switch to her/his own – Raj Jul 10 '19 at 17:03
  • That's the gist of it but it depends on the variables. The survivor is entitled to the full survivor benefit if he/she waits until full retirement age otherwise it gets reduced. That doesn't negate the possibility of doing it. One has to get SS projections for the various options and see which one looks best, based on longevity assumptions. For example, an individual can take SS early. My age bracket is 62/66. If I take it at 62, 78 is the break even. I do better taking it early if I die early and better taking it at 66 if I live past 78. This all assumes one can afford to delay taking it. – Bob Baerker Jul 10 '19 at 17:21

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