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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13281
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I will be 67 in March. I have applied to begin in March and

Customer Question

I will be 67 in March. I have applied for SS to begin in March and I am still working. 1. Is there a maximum amount of pay I can receive and still receive my full SS benefits? And how much tax will I be expected to pay if I keep my current pay - which is around $90,000 annually. 2. My husband started SS at age 62 because of health issues. He does not work. Would it be better for me to Suspend my SS and let him collect spousal benefits? I have heard about either restricting or suspending and am not sure what to do. Not sure what the difference is between them.
JA: I'm not sure of the exact price, but there's only a $5 deposit. The rest of the price information will be on the page I send you to. These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits propertly. Is there anything else the Retirement Accountant should be aware of?
Customer: I have been told by SS Admin. that I will be collecting $1400.00, but have not received a confirmation yet. My husband's monthly SS is $1036.00 after Medicare taken out. I pay my medicare on an annual basis since age 65. We are wanting to know what to do to get the best benefits for me for years to come. I am in good health and am the care giver of my husband his his 90 mom who has alzheimers. We want to make sure that I am taken care of. Thank you
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Retirement Accountant about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

Hi, my name is***** and I am here to assist you. I am a social security attorney in my private practice – that is ALL I do. Please let me know that my post here is coming through for you by typing a quick reply.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I am here.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

With regard to your post:

"I will be 67 in March. I have applied for SS to begin in March and I am still working. ------- OK.

"1. Is there a maximum amount of pay I can receive and still receive my full SS benefits? ------- No, you are over your FRA, so you can earn as much as you want without a reduction in benefit or any earnings limit.

"And how much tax will I be expected to pay if I keep my current pay - which is around $90,000 annually. ------- That would depend on your tax return, so you will want t speak to your tax preparer about that. However, you can find out about SS benefit taxation, which will definitely kick in given your amount of earnings, here. It is for this reason that many people do opt to wait til age 70 to collect so that they 1) increase their benefit by an additional 24% or so over age 67 amount and 2) don't fail to get that increase while paying taxes on much of their SS that they may not have to pay later, if and when they stop working.

2. My husband started SS at age 62 because of health issues. He does not work. Would it be better for me to Suspend my SS and let him collect spousal benefits? I have heard about either restricting or suspending and am not sure what to do. Not sure what the difference is between them.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

You may want to NOT collect your own, file a 'restricted' spousal application to get an amount equal to 50% of your spouse's benefit, while deferring your own til age 70.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

You'd have to cancel you OWN application and redo as a restricted spousal.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

THis would be either a total cancellation OR, if they won't do that, an official "withdrawal" of application (a one time opportunity). It would not be a suspension.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What is the difference of a restricted you spoke about or if I do a suspension? Can I still collect spousal benefits in the mean time? And, will this totally mess up things if I do a withdrawal of my application. I have not received a payment yet from them.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

Restricted means you file a "restricted application" for spousal only, as opposed to a regular application which requires the SSA pay you the greater of your own or your spousal, but pay your own first even if it ends up being spousal, then topping off the difference with spousal. The latter means your own won't grow to age 70 - i.e. you won't be 'defering' your own because you would be collecting it even if you are getting a spousal (if spousal if bigger, which is rare if you were a long term worker).

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

If you don't file a restricted, you always hit up your own, which is contrary to deferring and prevents "delayed retirement credits" that result in that nice increase to age 70.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
How is the May 1, 2015 new rules and regulations going to effect me? Do I need to do anything now that will insure I will be receiving my full benefits at age 70 if I do the restricted spousal benefits?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

They only effect the "effect" of suspending. What happens after 4/30 is that any one who suspends their own benefits, also suspends the benefit of any dependents collecting on her record (such as a spouse taking spousal or a child taking a child benefit).

You will want to make sure you get a restricted application in and cancel the one you have now. If you see a check come in that is as big as YOUR own benefit would be (assuming spousal amount is smaller), then you know you didn't file right. I think it a great idea, once you believe you have successfully applied for restricted spousal benefit, to 1) get it in writing from the SSA that you did just that or 2) send a confirming letter to the SSA, mailed cert. rrr, that explain when you cancelled old (or withdrew if that is required), with whom you worked with at SSA to do that, that you then filed a restricted application, and that your understanding is that this will result in the deferring of your own retirement benefit until such time as you decide to switch to your own, thereby earning "delayed retirement credits" up to the age of 70. SO include who, what and when you had this conversation/activity at the SSA office.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

Your online SS legal resource!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you. I will. I am on the way to SS office right now. I am lucky there is one just 1/2 mile from my office.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

Excellent! I have one within7 or so miles, so I am lucky in that regard as well!

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