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Ask Christopher B, Esq. Your Own Question
Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2982
Experience:  associate attorney
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My wife at 62 began collecting her social security, and took

Customer Question

My wife at 62 began collecting her social security, and took a hit since she started so early and I turn 66 May 15th. I have 2 questions. Can she get her full benefits once she turns 66? My plan for me was to suspend part of my monthly benefits until I turn 70. (Collecting half now and the balance later) In light of the rule change effective May 1, 2016 what are my options.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

No your wife's benefit is locked into what she received at age 62, it does not change at full retirement age (age 66). You will just miss the date to be grandfathered in to file and suspend. The law is currently changing as Congress has enacted HR 1314 which will go into effect on May 1, 2016. It eliminates two different loopholes, the "file and suspend" and the "restricted benefit". Let me explain the two strategies, and you need to take into account your financial needs and your health to see if any of these strategies are for you. Currently, a spouse can only take the spousal benefit if the other spouse has elected to take their benefit. A spouse must be at least age 62 or have a qualifying child in her/his care also. By a qualifying child, social security means a child who is under age 16 or who receives Social Security disability benefits. Currently the law is changing and a "suspend and file" cannot be elected starting on may 1, 2016. In this circumstance at full retirement age (66) you could file and suspend your benefits and continue earning credits until age 70 and your spouse could elect to take the spousal benefit. At age 66, the spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker's "primary insurance amount," depending on the spouse's age at retirement. Again, if the spouse begins receiving benefits before "normal (or full) retirement age," the spouse will receive a reduced benefit. However, if a spouse is caring for a qualifying child, the spousal benefit is not reduced.After the law changes, at full retirement age, you would have to take the higher of the spousal benefit and your retirement benefit. You can no longer choose just the spousal and let your normal retirement benefit grow while still take the spousal benefit. So unfortunately, you missed by about 2 weeks the ability to suspend your benefit and collect the 50% spousal benefit and let your benefit collect credits until age 70. You will take the higher of the spousal benefit and your retirement benefit if you want to take the election. The loophole is closed for you.

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Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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