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Ask Christopher B, Esq. Your Own Question
Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2981
Experience:  associate attorney
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I am 67 years old. My wife is 61. I am working full time

Customer Question

I am 67 years old. My wife is 61. I am working full time and my wife is working full time. We each earn more than the social security maximum. I plan on working until age 70. I am not drawing social security benefits and do not plan to do so until age 70 (so my benefits can increase based on my drawing benefits from age 66 - 70).
Prior to the change of law, my wife and my plan was that (i) I would work until age 70 and not draw social security until that time, and (ii) my wife would work until age 66 and then draw a spousal benefit based on my social security (and then take her own social security benefit at age 70)----thus maximizing our social security benefits from age 70 on. That way, we each would get very close to the maximum individual social security benefit that social security pays.
Do to the law change, our original strategy will not work. However----and this is my question---since I am age 67, IF I "file and suspend" my claim for social security benefits before April 29, 2016, will that preserve my wife's ability to claim a spousal benefit based on my social security which she reaches age 66 (her full retirement age) in about 5 years or will she be unable to do that due to the law change. I've read about this and gotten different answers?
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, you do not need to file and suspend your benefits as you will be above mandatory retirement age when your wife reaches age 66. The spousal benefit is not going away although the restricted benefit is and your wife will not be able to take only the spousal benefit at age 66. She can take the spousal benefit at age 66 but if she elects to take it, she will also have to elect to take her normal retirement benefit as well. She will not be able to allow her benefit to grow until age 70 while still taking the spousal benefit (it is 50% of your spouse's benefit). She will be able to take the higher of the spousal benefit and her own retirement benefit, these benefits do not stack. Most people do not understand the file and suspend and it does not effect your situation as all that is required for the spousal benefit is to be at least age 62 and for the spouse to be taking his or her benefit. You will be taking your benefit at age 72 and your spouse can thus take the spousal benefit at that time. Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated for my time by the site