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Delaying retirement has a cost, too

Eileen Ambrose delaying Social Security from 66 to 70 to boost benefits after 70 by about a third ("Here's what you should know about Social Security," March 11) advocates. But there are factors this conventional wisdom overlooks.

If one forgoes 100 percent of benefits for four years, he or she must live 12 years after 70 to break even. Will one live to and after 82, and how active one will one be after 82 to enjoy the extra funds?

Taxable IRAs and 401(k)s are subject to Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) after 70. Not only may the extra Social Security income not be needed after 70, but the taxable RMD may cause the higher Social Security to be taxed.

If one is perfectly healthy from a long-lived family with no inheritable diseases, doing an easy job that one loves, perhaps delaying taking Social Security until 70 makes sense. But the greatest cost of delaying taking Social Security until 70 are the years of freedom from retiring early.

James Kelly, Ellicott City

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