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dylatess
dylatess, ATTORNEY
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3427
Experience:  37 plus years of SSD practice
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To Stephanie O Joy Esq., ONLY" Stephanie, I am trying

Customer Question

"To Stephanie O Joy Esq., ONLY"Hi Stephanie,
I am trying to decide if it is important to visit the Social Security office this week to "file and suspend" or "file a restricted application"I was born in May, 1949 and therefore am at FRA with a very good earnings record near the maximum and am continuing to earn.
I have a former spouse (divorced) born in Jan 1951 (not FRA but over 62) also with a very good earnings record, also continuing to earn (but I imagine this is not relevant because I remarried)
I have a present spouse born in Mar 1955 (age 61) with a very modest earnings record in the UK and none here.the question
What is my best strategy? Do I need to file and suspend in order for my current spouse to receive a spousal benefit? If she gets a spousal benefit as early as she can (62?) will it be reduced compared to waiting to her FRA?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 7 months ago.
Hi! Yes, no divorced spousal benefits it you are married.....And it sounds like you have no current spouse benefits to turn to, in terms of any spousal application... YES, I would consider filing and suspending this week..... so that later, your spouse can collect a spousal benefit before you turn 70 - should she choose to collect less than the max spousal benefit. If you don't file and suspend now, later you can file, but you can't suspend if you want her to collect. Yes, if she gets a spousal benefit before she is her FRA, it will be reduced accordingly and forever. I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gottenanything less, please reply back, I amhappy 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 7 months ago.
Hi Stephanie,
thanks for the info! Just to make sure file and suspend does not have a downside .... If I file and suspend and continue working ... will the extra lifetime earnings that I accumulate still apply to calculating my benefits when I decide to take them? (I am earning quite a bit more in these years than some of the prior ones.) And ... I read somewhere that if I were to die sometime after I file and suspend it might reduce my wife's widow's benefit compared to if I had not?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 7 months ago.
"Hi Stephanie, ------- Hey to you also......"thanks for the info! Just to make sure file and suspend does not have a downside .... -------- No, there is even the extra perk if you suspend but later have an urgent reason for money - you can ask to reinstate those suspended benefits for a lump sum. It would negate the "deferral", but still nice insurance should the need arise..."If I file and suspend and continue working ... will the extra lifetime earnings that I accumulate still apply to calculating my benefits when I decide to take them? -------- That is true regardless of suspending. Any new earnings that is sufficient to change one's lifetime average indexed monthly earnings will be applied to possibly increase the benefit.... of course, that means the new earnings must be sufficiently high to replace a prior top 35 year of earnings...."(I am earning quite a bit more in these years than some of the prior ones.) And ... I read somewhere that if I were to die sometime after I file and suspend it might reduce my wife's widow's benefit compared to if I had not?-------- No, not true. In fact, unlike a spousal benefit, which does not grow even if you defer for years, if you die, your spouse's survivor benefit DOES include your increased amount (it does not stay at your age 66 amount).