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Retirees often claim Social Security before reaching full retirement age and leave tax-deferred IRAs untouched until age 70½, when they must start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs). In fact, about 75% of current Social Security recipients claimed early benefits before age 66.1

Some retired couples might be better off with the opposite approach: taking IRA withdrawals in their 60s in order to delay Social Security until age 70, when benefits would reach their maximum payout.

Although you may not be counting on Social Security to survive, the lifetime benefits you receive could add up to a meaningful percentage of your retirement income. In the long run, you could miss out on thousands of dollars in benefits if you rush to file before carefully considering your options.

Source: 1) The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2014

Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM

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