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For some, drawing Social Security early makes sense

The for used to apply for social security benefits (Getty Images).
The for used to apply for social security benefits (Getty Images). (AndreyPopov / Getty Images)

Max Richtman’s makes the point that early entry into Social Security is bad for the worker and urges more take advantage of a “delay-and-gain” strategy (“Delaying retirement boosts Social Security checks,” Apr. 23).

It is not illogical to make the case that delaying increases one’s monthly Social Security check. Under the current program, it would be specious logic to say otherwise. But his lobbying for all to take the delay strategy lacks consideration of several facts. One is that life expectancy is 67 years for most. Thus delaying until 66 means an average of one year of drawing benefits. Another is that he seems to address only those who have no other retirement income from employment.

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Understandably, that means if one is using Social Security as their only retirement income, they would indeed be at or near the poverty level. Criticizing the taking of benefits at age 62 reduces benefits, but fails to account for four times the yearly amount received until reaching the average age of life expectancy. Thus the person would receive only one year of benefits if they opt for age 66 before statistically they would die. On the other hand, if one has a benefit from employment (let us say equal to Social Security) to add to the Social Security amount they would have accumulated four years of income and actually could have further enhanced it if they chose to get a small job to continue working as long as they did not exceed the Social Security maximum.

I am 79. I took my benefits at 62 and they are complemented by retirement checks from employment. I have received far more now than I would have had I waited until age 66. Mr. Richtman appears to be more a lobbyist for the fear mongers on the right of the political spectrum than being interested in giving sound advice to those planning for retirement.

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Geoff Smoot, Hebron

The writer is a retired school teacher, veteran and glad to have lived this long.

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