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-continuedonpage4Themostfundamentalstrategyisdecidingwhethersmallerearlierpaymentswillbemoreusefulthanlaterlargerpayments.Forthosewithserioushealthissuestakingbenetsatage62maybeanobviouschoiceforgettingthemostoutoftheprogramandassistingwithhighmedicalcosts.Ontheotherendretireesingoodhealthwithsufcientresourcesmaywanttodelaybenetsaslongaspossible.Approximatelyoneoutofeveryfourpeoplewhomakeittoage65willmakeittoage90.Ifsuchlongevityseemspossibleforapersonpatientlywaitingforthelargestpossiblepaymentscanendupbeingagreathelpwhenotherretirementassetsbegintodwindle.InadditiontodelayingbenetsapersoncanincreasetheirSocialSecurityincomebycontinuingtowork.SinceSocialSecurityisdeter-minedfromaworkerstop35incomeearningyearsstickingaroundatajobcanhelpapersonraisehisorheraverageincomeespeciallyifheorshehaslessthan35yearsofincomeonrecord.MarriageandSocialSecurityMarriagecanbeanexcellenttoolforextractingmorebenetsfromSocialSecurity.Severalusefulstrategiescanbeaccessedbecausecoupleshavespousalbenetsjointsurvivabilityandtheabilitytotransfermonthlypayments.UsingbothincomesandbenetclaimscarefullyacouplesretirementplanscangainsignicantvaluefromSocialSecurity.ThemostcommonlyusedpartofacouplesSocialSecuritybenetsisthatasurvivingspousecanexchangehisorherbenetforthedeceasedsbenet.ThisoftenencouragesthehigherearningspousetodelaybenetsuntilheorshehasreachedFRAorage70.Thatwaynomatterwhichspousediesrstthesurvivorwillbeguaranteedthehighestpossiblepayoutrate.TheothermajorcomponentofSocialSecurityplanningforcouplesistheabilityforapersontoelectabenetequaltohalfofhisorherspousesFRAbenet.Knownasthespousalbenetthiscanbehelpfultocoupleswhenthereisasignicantdisparityinaverageincomes.Therearetwoqualierstospousalbenetsthough1spouseAmustinitiatehisorherbenetsbeforespouseBcanclaimthespousalbenetand2ifspouseBtakesspousalbenetsbeforereachingFRAheorshewillgetlessthanhalfofspouseAsbenetandwillautomaticallyactivatehisorherpersonalbenetsreceivingwhicheverishigher.CouplesStrategiesCouplescantakeadvantageofSocialSecuritytogainextramoneyiftheyorga-nizetheiruseofspousalbenets.Anopportunityiscreatedbecauseretireesareallowedtoswitchfromspousalbenetstotheirpersonalbenetslateron.Theprocesscangetverytrickyandretireesshouldalwaysseekprofessionaladvicewhenplanningthebestwaytoproceed.SocialSecurityallowsretireeswhohavereachedtheirFRAtosuspendactivebenets.Oncesuspendedcreditsbuildupandincreasethevalueofmonthlypay-mentsforwhenthebenetsresumedistribution.Thismeansapersonisabletoactivatehisorherpersonalbenetsallowhisorherspousetoactivatethespousalbenetandthenimmediatelysuspendthepersonalbenetsuntilage70where-upontheywillpayatahigherrate.Thingsgetinterestingwhenthepersontakingspousalbenetsgetsolder.ProvidedheorshewaiteduntilhisorherFRAtotakeoutthespousalbenetsthespousewillbeabletoswitchtohisorherpersonalbenetswheneverdesired.Unlessthereisasignicantdifferencebetweenearningsthespousewillwanttoswitchovertopersonalbenetsatage70.Thisstrategyissignicantbecauseitallowsbothspousestogetthemaximumpersonalpaymentsatage70whilealsoallowingonespousetoreceivespousalbenetsforafewyearsprior.Thisstrategyhasnoimpactonpersonalbenetsandcanbethoughtofasawaytogetfreemoneyfromsocialsecurity.Forbothspousestoreceivethemaximumbenetatage70itisextremelyimportantthatneitherspouseactivatebenetsbeforetheirFRAs.AspousewhoactivatespersonalbenetsbeforehisorherFRAwillnotbeabletosuspendthemuntilheorshereachesFRAatwhichpointsomeofthedefermentcredithasbeenlost.MoreimportantlyifthespouselingforspousalbenetstriestoclaimthembeforehisorherFRASocialSecuritywillautomaticallyenrollhimorherinbothpersonalandspousalbenetsdistributingwhicheverhasthehighervalueandruiningthestrategy.