In considering claiming strategies for Social Security, one can consider many factors, including other resources, age, age of spouse, level of benefit, spouses own benefits, health, estate desires, tax effects, effects on Medicare Premiums, etc. One of the most common processes is to try to predict one's life span in order to maximize the total benefit over that interval. This method boils down to the following general rule: If you live long, it pays to wait; if you live short, it pays to not wait. Problem is, we don't know, for the most part, whether we will live long or short. Also, other considerations may outweigh simple maximization.