How can a wife and husband maximize their Social Security benefits over their lifetimes?

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How can a wife and husband maximize their Social Security benefits over their lifetimes?

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Recent studies indicate that a couple can maximize their payouts over time if the lower-earning spouse begins collecting Social Security as early as possible (age 62) and the higher-earning spouse waits until age 68 or beyond to start benefits. (You get your largest possible benefit by waiting until 70.) Indeed, a peculiarity in Social Security’s rules allows for some creative strategies in this area. Consider the following example, provided by Steve Potter, a retired public-affairs specialist at Social Security: Let’s say Ted and Alice are the same age. He’s eligible for a $2,000 benefit at his full retirement age; she’s eligible for $1,000 at hers. Alice claims benefits based on her earnings at age 62 and gets $750; Ted, meanwhile, is considering waiting until age 70, to try to maximize their benefits. The problem is that 70 is a long time to wait to start receiving benefits. At full retirement age, though, Social Security gives a person two choices: You can take your own benefit, or

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