Updated Wednesday, October 1, 2014 as of 6:32 PM ET

When Should Clients Start Taking Social Security Benefits?

In his paper, Blanchett finds that an individual investor who takes benefits at age 62 must achieve returns of 7% or higher in retirement in order to be better off than someone who delays until age 66, assuming an average life expectancy. In contrast, an investor taking Social Security at 66 would need returns of 4.6% or higher to be better off than someone delaying until age 70. That said, spousal survivor benefits significantly increase the potential advantage from waiting. “Delayed Social Security benefits are especially valuable for females, married couples, and investors who expect to invest in relatively conservative portfolios during retirement,” Blanchett concludes in his paper.

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