Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sacrificing Your Life For Your Wife

So a new study shows that if women take their social security benefits at an earlier age and men at a later age, they will increase their combined couple net income, even though the man will die at an earlier age.

The widowed wife will enjoy the benefits of the higher survivorship Social Security benefit due to the husband's waiting to draw from Social Security.

But is this trade-off fair for the shorter living husband? He will get the increased peace of mind of knowing his wife is protected if something should happen to him, but he may have to endure a lot less comfortable retirement than he might otherwise have to. Maybe he will have to work longer in order to be able to retire. Working longer may mean he dies sooner as a result.

The fairest thing would be to plan ahead, and to save up enough to use retirement savings to offset the disparity. If I have to die 5 years before my wife, I intend to have a damn good time before I kick the bucket.


limeade said...

I don't think I'd worry too much about optimizing social security. Retirement won't be all that grand to begin with if that's what it comes down to.

I'd say, plan to bankroll your retirement yourself. You'll have a much better time, and the Social Security will just be gravy.

Alex said...

True, but if I'm to retire young, I definitely have to factor Social Security in place to try to reduce the massive number a little.