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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2963
Experience:  associate attorney
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I will be full retirement age in April 2017. I am completing

Customer Question

I will be full retirement age in April 2017. I am completing an application for benefits to begin after my 66th April birthday. The application ? as to whether I want to apply for my benefits or my spouse's benefits has me confused.
JA: 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: Yes tell me how to make the decision of applying for my own benefits or my spouse's
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today. Thank you for your question and for using justanswer.com. Give me a bit and I will get you an answer drafted.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Congress recently made changes to some very good planning loopholes having to do with the spousal benefit. The restricted benefit is still available to those that reach full retirement age before 2020 which is you. Normally when you elect to receive your SS retirement benefit, you will elect to take both the spousal (50% of your spouse's benefit if he or she has elected to receive the benefit) and your normal retirement benefit. You only receive the higher of these two benefits. A restricted application (which Congress has eliminated but you are still eligible for) allows you to restrict your application to receiving ONLY the spousal benefit. The benefit to this is that your normal retirement benefit can still grow until age 70 at 8% per year while you are still collecting the spousal benefit. You will then switch over to a much higher retirement benefit (increased 32%) at age 70. If you can afford to do this, it is a very good planning opportunity.

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Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?