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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13522
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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File and suspend

Customer Question

File and suspend
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hi, what question can I help you with regarding "file and suspend"?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Stephanie, My wife and I are both 62 and for a number of years I had planned file for my benefits at 66 and then suspend them to allow my wife to collect spousal benefits. I recently heard that in this last congressional 'solution' to our nation's budget problems, this strategy was to be negated although it could be utilized for another 6 months. Have you any sense of what I should do?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hi, and thank you. So much does depend on your needs and goals, but this new law has really taken a lot from many upcoming retirees.

We know two things: 1) Because your wife is 62 before end of 2015, she will retain the right to file a restricted spousal application once she is of FRA (full retirement age). However, 2) your ability to file and suspend whereby your wife can collect spousal ends in 5 months or so. After that you can file and then suspend but dependent benefits get suspended also. So you'd likely only suspend if you decided you wanted those delayed retirement credits, usually if you are working enough to NOT take SS between 66 and 70. So what does this mean. At 66, your wife can take a spousal (restricted) and let her own grow to 70. BUT, she can only do so if you have filed and not suspended, because at that time (4 years from now), any suspension by you will curb her benefits as well. As such, I'd probably do the math. What do you two gain more from: her taking spousal at 66 while you take your own at 66, and then she switches to her own amount at 70 (32% increase in her PIA), OR, the opposite: her filing for her own at 66, you filing for spousal and letting yours grow 32%. Basically, perhaps whoever has the bigger PIA may be the one that files a restricted spousal so that 32% growth will be off of a larger amount. And of course, you can also both NOT file til 70, forego all payments at from 66-70, and you both increase your amount by 32%... Would that 32% be enough to justify 4 years of no spousal + 1?

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

See here for a decent write up:

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

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