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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13566
Experience:  22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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My wife is 63 and I am 66 and she started to collect on her

Customer Question

my wife is 63 and I am 66 and she started to collect on her earnings approx 8 months ago at which time I started to collect spousal benefit. Our strategy is when I turn 70 and start to collect full benefits for her to suspend until her age 70. Is this acceptable or will this change with 4/29/16 restrictions on suspending also when she suspends at 66 which is her full retirement age could she collect spousal benefit until she starts to collect at age 70.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
Yes - you still may do that.Because you reached your full retirement age (FRA) - you may suspend your benefits and start collecting social security benefits based on your spouse working record.Your own benefits will continue to grow till age 70 when you may start collecting social security benefits based on your own working record.The new law will eliminate that option - so you would need to apply before the end of this month.To be eligible - your spouse should apply for her own benefits, then she may choose to continue benefits or to suspend her benefits.Questions?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know if my question was clear so let me further explain. Our strategy is for me to apply for full benefits at age 70 at which time my wife will be 66 at which time she would like to suspend and if possible collect spousal benefits, please advise.
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
In order to do that- your wife should apply for her benefits NOW - before the end of this month- after that - your wife may choose either to collect her benefits or suspend her benefits till later age.- then you will be able to apply for spousal social security benefits - and may start these benefits now - that should be done before the end on this month- your own social security benefits will grow till age 70.- later - at age 70 you will be able to start social security benefits based on your own working record.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm starting to wonder if I know more about social security than you do and if that's the case I don't feel I should be charged for an answer. 1. I am currently collecting spousal benefits and I did not file and suspend, my wife filed consequently I do not have to file and suspend to collect spousal benefits. 2. According to the May issue of Kiplinger's magazine, the end of file and suspend strategy does not end the opportunity to suspend benefits at age 66 in order to undo partr of the penalty imposed for claiming benefits earlier.
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
I honestly do not see any contradictions. The restricted application allows you to delay your social security benefits and keep them grow till age 70 and you become eligible to claim a spousal benefit based on YOUR spouse s earnings record.The law which we are discussing is The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 on 11/02/2015 it Became Public Law No: 114-74Here is the documenthttps://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ74/PLAW-114publ74.pdfHowever that specific provision will be in effect starting May 1st of 2016.See SEC. 831. CLOSURE OF UNINTENDED LOOPHOLES. on page 26 in this document..Please let me know if I missed your point or your specific intention.What are you trying to achieve?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am frustrated in that I'm looking for clarification of my situation not general information. Is there someone else that could grasp my inquiry?
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
Yes - I will opt out - and someone will reply to you.Please do not reply as that will delay the response.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Bob, my name is***** and I am here to assist you. I am a social security attorney in my private practice – that is ALL I do. Please let me know that my post here is coming through for you by typing a quick reply.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
I understand the scenario and can explain what will or will not occur. OK? Just give me some time to draft it up for you.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
With regard to your post: "my wife is 63 and I am 66 and she started to collect on her earnings approx 8 months ago ----- OK, so she is taking reduced benefits. "at which time I started to collect spousal benefit. ---- Which her filing allowed and triggered your eligibility to file for spousal. And given your FRA at that time, you could avail yourself of the Restricted Spousal application so you could collect spousal while allowing your own to grow, unfettered, up to age 70."Our strategy is when I turn 70 and start to collect full benefits ------ In 4 years....."for her to suspend until her age 70. ------- Terrific!"Is this acceptable or will this change with 4/29/16 restrictions on suspending ------- No it will be OK. The RIGHT to suspend at FRA or older remains. It is only the EFFECT of suspending that is changing on 5/1. Since your wife will be FRA, she can stop hers cold. All dependents will have theirs suspending too. Since you will no longer be collecting spousal, her BLANKET suspension won't hurt you."also when she suspends at 66 which is her full retirement age could she collect spousal benefit until she starts to collect at age 70. ------ No, she can't take spousal - this is because even though she WOULD have been grandfathered for a restricted, based on her age, she already is ENTITLED to her own, since she'd filed earlier and later suspended. We are only eligible for spousal when it is BIGGER than our own. Now, I am assuming that her spousal is NOT bigger than her own, but if that is incorrect, then yes, she could then file for spousal because she will suddenly be eligible for spousal based on 1) you triggered it by applying for your own (which you hadn't yet done) and 2) spousal is bigger than her own, which she is 'entitled' to because she previously applied for it. Let me know if I am being clear!
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy 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!
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
I'd like to clarify this one: "also when she suspends at 66 which is her full retirement age could she collect spousal benefit until she starts to collect at age 70. ------ No, she can't take spousal - this is because even though she WOULD have been grandfathered for a restricted, based on her age, she already is ENTITLED to her own, since she'd filed earlier and later suspended. We are only eligible for spousal when it is BIGGER than our own if we are entitled to our own. Being entitled is not the same as being eligible. Eligible can occur before applying for a benefit. Entitled is only after we have applied, then we are entitled (if otherwise eligible). Now, I am assuming that her spousal is NOT bigger than her own, but if that is incorrect, then yes, she could then file for spousal because she will suddenly be eligible for spousal based on 1) you triggered it by applying for your own (which you hadn't yet done) and 2) spousal is bigger than her own, which she is 'entitled' to because she previously applied for it."
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy 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!