3. I want to maximize survivor benefits in case I die first
Because of the way our respective businesses are structured, the amount of my income that counts toward Social Security is higher than the amount of my husband’s income. So that means I’ll get the higher benefit from the two of us.
When a spouse dies, the surviving spouse receives the higher of the two benefits. So maximizing my benefit means my husband would get a larger amount in survivor benefits than if I were to shrink my checks with an early claim. My delay thus increases the chances that we, as a couple, will receive the largest possible amount of Social Security.
Since I’ll be spending my working life paying Social Security, it makes sense for me to try and pick an filing strategy that will probably pay the biggest payout in the end.
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