Excerpt from: Forbes (click for full article)
Social Security benefit provisions are so devilishly complex that I’ve come to believe that Satan, himself, had a hand in their construction. The ‘simple’ formula for determining the total benefits received by a married spouse involves 10 distinct mathematical functions, one of which is in four dimensions. And there are additional complex functions that circumscribe the arguments entering into the 10 primary functions.
The bottom line here is this. There is a lot of money to be made – ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – to making the right lifetime benefit decisions. So before you head to the local Social Security office, and there are some 10,000 baby boomers doing this every day these days, know in advance what benefits you do and don’t want to apply for. If you don’t, the good folks at Social Security may do their best for you in terms of raising immediate benefits, but the worst for you in terms of maximizing your lifetime benefits.