Strange But True: Claim Social Security Now, Claim More Later

Alex Golub-SassAlicia H. Munnell Nadia S. Karamcheva

IB#9-9

The brief’s key findings are:

  • New rules enable one member of a two-earner couple to claim a Social Security spousal benefit at age 66 and then claim a higher retired worker benefit later.
  • The most likely person to use this strategy is the higher-earning spouse, who can receive benefits while working without losing the gains of claiming later.
  • If this strategy were widely adopted, it would cost Social Security about $10 billion per year.