Your clients who will be turning age 66 this year probably know they are eligible to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits without regard to their work earnings. For those who start benefits earlier than age 66, the 2012 wage limits are $14,640 until Jan. 1 of their 66thyear, and $38,880 from January through their birth months.


As the 66th birthday approaches, let clients know that two trends are working to make delaying the start of Social Security benefits more attractive. They are: 1) increased longevity, because the longer people live, the longer they can receive Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs); and 2) low interest rates.


For anyone who attains age 66 this year or later, DRCs permanently add 8 percent per year to retirement benefits, on top of annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs). The 8 percent increase was actuarially determined based on how long Americans lived in the past, and also the discount rate required to fund future benefits. With 10-year Treasury yields (the discount rate) now below 2 percent, it's worth reminding clients that the 8 percent annual DRC has been locked into U.S. law for years and has not changed to reflect lower interest rates. For clients who are in excellent health, it could be a bargain to delay the start of benefits. For more on this subject, see:

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