When Should Married Men Claim Social Security Benefits?

Posted: 10 Mar 2010

See all articles by Steven A. Sass

Steven A. Sass

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Wei Sun

Renmin University of China - Hanqing Advanced Institute of Economics and Finance and School of Finance

Anthony Webb

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Date Written: March 2008

Abstract

Most married men claim Social Security benefits at age 62 or 63, well short of the age that maximizes the expected present value of the average household's benefits. That many married men "leave money on the table" is surprising. It is also problematic. It results in much lower benefits for surviving spouses and the low incomes of elderly widows are a major social problem. If married men delayed claiming Social Security benefits, retirement income security would significantly improve. This brief focuses on the potential gains from delayed claiming and the factors that may influence claiming behavior. It then considers possible policy responses.

Suggested Citation

Sass, Steven A. and Sun, Wei and Webb, Anthony, When Should Married Men Claim Social Security Benefits? (March 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1118948

Steven A. Sass (Contact Author)

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Wei Sun

Renmin University of China - Hanqing Advanced Institute of Economics and Finance and School of Finance ( email )

59 Zhongguancun Street
Beijing, Beijing 100872
China

Anthony Webb

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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