Because I am approaching 65, I get invited to listen to a number of “retirement specialists” make presentations. Here is what I believe several of them are saying: Every year that you defer your Social Security benefits, the benefits increase at a guaranteed 8 percent. So if I live for four years by cashing in poorly productive equity investments, my Social Security at age 70 will be about 32 percent more than it would be if I started receiving Social Security payments at age 66, when I retire. Since the equity investments I am referring to have not gained in value, I should not have to pay any taxes on their sale.
Of course, life expectancy is a factor here. If I knew I would die at age 68, I would start drawing Social Security right away. But both my parents lived into their 90s, and I am currently in good health. Deferral seems like a no-brainer. Is it? — D.M., by email
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