How do age differences impact your Social Security decisions?

Whether it’s a single marriage situation or a re-marriage, the decision on when and how to file for Social Security benefits can be a key part of a couple’s retirement financial strategy. In a recent Washington Post article, columnist Michelle Singletary examines the variables that need to be considered in reaching Social Security filing decisions, citing statistics from a Pew Research Center study and comments from recent NerdWallet, Morningstar and other sources explaining the implications for couples with significant age differences.

“One of the biggest issues when there is an age gap is when to retire,” writes Singletary. Quoting Morningstar’s Christine Benz, “Couples with big age differences may need to plan for different retirement dates and life expectancies — with related implications for portfolio-withdrawal strategies, asset allocation, and Social Security filing,” Singletary highlights the reasons why couples need to pay close attention to timing of retirement decisions as part of a long-term strategy.

“Determining when to file for Social Security Benefits and the implications of this decision on spousal benefits are the most frequent questions we receive,” notes Gerry Hafer, AMAC Foundation’s Executive Director and one of the organization’s five NSSA-Certified Social Security Advisors. “Of the roughly 300 inquiries we handle each month, more than a third address these areas.” He cites the importance of fully understanding how age at filing impacts monthly benefits, along with the related impact on spousal benefit amounts, as two of the most important topics on which folks need advice. To learn more about AMAC Foundation’s free-to-the-public Advisory Service, check out their website page. 


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