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Why Do Married Men Claim Social Security Benefits So Early? Ignorance or Caddishness?

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  • Steven A. Sass

    ()

  • Wei Sun
  • Anthony Webb

    (Center for Retirement Research, Boston College)

Abstract

Most married men claim Social Security benefits at age 62 or 63, well short of both Social Security’s Full Retirement Age and the age that maximizes the household’s expected present value of benefits (EPVB). This results in a loss of less than 4 percent in household EPBV. But essentially the entire loss is borne by the survivor benefit, falls nearly 20 percent. As many elderly widows have very low incomes, early claiming by married men is a major social problem.

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File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/why-do-married-men-claim-social-security-benefits-so-early-ignorance-or-caddishness/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2007-17.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision: Oct 2007
Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2007-17

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References

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  1. Jeffrey R. Brown & James M. Poterba, 1999. "Joint Life Annuities and Annuity Demand by Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 7199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, . "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," DNB Working Papers 078, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  4. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
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Cited by:
  1. John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2013. "Recent Changes in the Gains from Delaying Social Security," NBER Working Papers 19370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Natalia Zhivan & Steven A. Sass & Margarita Sapozhnikov & Kelly Haverstick, 2008. "An "Elastic" Earliest Eligibility Age for Social Security," Issues in Brief ib2008-8-2, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2008.
  3. Wei Sun & Anthony Webb, 2009. "How Much Do Households Really Lose By Claiming Social Security at Age 62?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2009-11, Center for Retirement Research, revised Apr 2009.

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