Social Security: Now or later?

I believe the article “Delay and gain” on Social Security benefits (Commentary, Max Richtman, March 29) seriously misleads individuals who are considering retirement.

Although Mr. Richtman is surely well-meaning, he focuses on monthly income from Social Security, rather than lifetime income. Using his monthly benefits figures and an expected age at death of 80 years, a person who begins Social Security at age 62 would receive lifetime benefits of $324,000 (18 years x 12 months x $1500 per month).

For older ages at retirement, the lifetime benefits would be: age 63, $326,400; age 64, $339,072; age 65, $342,000; age 66, $336,000; age 70, $316,800. These lifetime benefit dollar amounts are not significantly different from each other, and thus it doesn’t really matter whether you begin Social Security at age 62 or at older ages.

Maureen Harris
Woodville

The writer is a retired epidemiologist and statistician

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