Age 70 and delaying Social Security?

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Q. I turned 70 last week. I recall that my Social Security payment does not increase if I defer receiving benefits after I turn 70. I am currently receiving a spousal benefit and continuing to work. I plan to retire from full-time employment next spring. Two questions: Is there any reason not to collect my full Social Security benefit now? Am I still required to make my full Social Security and Medicare contributions while I continue to work?
— Widow

A. Happy birthday to you, and congrats on your approaching retirement date.

You are correct that once you attain age 70, your Social Security benefit will no longer increase each year, therefore you have maximized the monthly benefit you will receive.

To your first question: You should file and elect to receive your Social Security benefit at this time — assuming your benefit is greater than the spousal benefit you were receiving — because there is no benefit to delay filing beyond age 70, said Gerard Papetti, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.

Also, Papetti said, because you are electing to receive your benefit at or beyond your full retirement age, you will not be subject to the earning test which could reduce the amount of your Social Security benefit received based on the amount of your earned income.

“As for your second question, if you are still employed and earning income, your wages are still subject to Social Security and Medicare employment taxes,” Papetti said.

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NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.