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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I am a 65 year old married woman. My husband is 68 and still

Customer Question

i am a 65 year old married woman. My husband is 68 and still working. He plans on waiting until 70 (March of 2017) to take his SS benefits. He has "applied and Suspended " his SS. I will reach full retirement age (66) in November of 2016. I want to get the maximum spousal benefits at that time. I would like to know if the new laws passed by Congress will effect our plans. Also, if I start my Own benefits before I turn 66, will that effect the amount of spousal benefits i will get at age 66?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Because you husband is over age 66 and has already filed and suspended, even under the new social security laws that means that as of age 66 you may apply for a "restricted" spouse benefit (taking only a spouse benefit and not your own) and receive the full 50% of his full retirement age benefit, even though he is not yet receiving his own benefit. Your own retirement benefit would continue to grow at 8% per year to age 60 while you receive thee spouse benefit.

And, while you could take your own benefit before age 66, doing so would result in an early retirement penalty (though at age 65 it wouldn't be that much)----but that penalty would carry over to any spouse benefit that you might apply for in the future and is not the way you probably want to go. Because taking your own benefit before age 66 would decrease the amount of spouse benefit that you would be eligible for at age 66.

So to maximize your retirement benefit, you will want to wait to age 66 to apply for your restricted spouse benefit at which time you will receive 50% of his full retirement benefit, and your own retirement benefit based on your earnings will continue to grow at 8% per year until age 70.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in the coming New Year,

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your answer. Ever since my husband applied for his "Apply and Suspend" benefits, I get mailers from SS telling me to apply for my benefits. I do not want to begin spousal benefits until I am 66 yrs old, (November 2016). I will wait to take the 50% benefits in November. I do not see why SS is sending this mailers and asking me to apply before my 66 birthday. I am please to hear that the changes made by Congress will not affect our plans.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

You are getting the mailers simply because social security at one point didn't send them and too many people complained that they didn't know when they were supposed to apply----and it is to let people know that they can and should apply for their benefit about 3 months before their 66th birthday to ensure that social security has the time to process the application and get the first payment out after you turn 66.

Thank you for your kind words. They are appreciated.

Please understand that in order for me to be compensated for having helped you, I need for you to positively rate my service to you by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy.

Thanks in advance.

I wish you the best,

Doug