Hi Joe, with regard to your post:
"DATE OF BIRTH MAY 18 1950. MY WIFE'S DATE OF BIRTH MAY 24 1961 ------ So you are 65, soon to be 66.
"I HAVE BEEN PLANNING TO DEFER RECEIVING BENEFITS UNTIL AGE 70. -------- OK, that is often a good choice.
AM I ELIGIBLE TO FILE AT MY FRA 66 AND IMMEDIATELY SUSPEND BENEFITS AND HAVE MY BENEFITS INCREASE BY 7% YEARLY. -------- You can, but short of having a purpose, that would not benefit you. You'd file and suspend. Why not just not file at all? If you are thinking that your wife can file for spousal if you file for yours, that is true, but the moment you suspend, you suspend hers, so that won't work too well.
"AM I ABLE TO CONTINUE TO WORK, THUS EARNING ADDITIONAL CREDITS THAT WILL INCREASE MY BENEFIT AT AGE 70. -------- Actually, the DRCs you earn are NOT from working but from delaying your receipt of retirement benefits. Although, of course it is great to keep on working should you need or want the income or activity.
"THESE ADDITIONAL QUARTERS WILL BE HIGHER LEVELS THAN THE ONES EARNED IN THE PAST. ------- If your new work years exceed any of the prior 35 top years of income (as indexed) then they will replace them, thereby increasing your lifetime average monthly income and potentially, your primary insurance amount.
"IF I DIE UNEXPECTEDLY ARE THERE ANY IMMEDIATE BENEFITS TO MY WIFE BEFORE SHE REACHES AGE 62. ------- Yes, at age 60, she can filed for a permanently reduced survivor benefit. Or, if she is disabled at any age after 50, she can, or if she is carrying for your child under age 60, she can, subject to an earnings limit if she is still working (due to the 'dependent' requirement for a survivor benefit).
WHAT REGULATION ALLOWS ME TO SUSPEND AND COLLECT A LUMP SUM AT MY FRA RATE. ------ If you file for your SSR after your FRA, you can ask for retro payments back 6 months. That does not involved suspension. But if you did suspend at FRA to some later year: (z) “Voluntary Suspension” added to Section 202 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402). You can get your current and past suspended benefits, reinstated for a lump sum. Great article on that by Mr. Kotlikoff.