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.
— The writer is a retired epidemiologist and statistician