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Ask Lane Your Own Question
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 12705
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial, Social Security & Tax advice since 1986
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Wife is 62 12/30/53. Can she file and suspend? Does it make

Customer Question

Wife is 62 12/30/53. Can she file and suspend? Does it make good financial sense? I am 64 3/5/52. Neither of us have filed for SS.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
Hi,...First it's important to understand the difference between (1) File & Suspend and (2) Restricted application...File and Suspend allows one spouse to delay retirement benefits while the other gets a spousal benefit...Restricted application just means that one spouse to delay while getting their own spousal benefit (IF entitled)...First and foremost, it’s crucial to recognize that file-and-suspend (or voluntary suspension in general) is only available for those who are full retirement age (currently age 66). Which means if the retiree isn’t already 66 (and/or won’t be turning 66 by April 29), then file-and-suspend is off the table anyway
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
Restricted application, however, is available to both of you. (born before Jan 1st 1954)
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
But the potential spousal benefit piece doesn't apply here; To get a spousal benefit, your spouse must already be receiving their own Social Security retirement benefit. If he/she has decided to suspend their own benefit in order to accumulate delayed retirement credits, you can't collect spousal benefits on their record until they're actively collecting a retirement benefit
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
Said differently, there is one primary difference between the old and the new rules:...if you suspend under the new rules, your spouse will be ineligible to claim spousal benefits while your benefit is in suspense....If you suspend under the old rules, while your benefit is in suspense, spouses and other auxiliaries can still collect benefits based on your work record.
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
This chart should help to clarify:...And here's an excellent article on this, written by a colleague, Michael Kitces:...
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
See this (from Social Security)
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
Information You Need To Apply For Spouse's Or Divorced Spouse's Benefits - Form SSA-2You can apply:Online, if you are within 3 months of age 62 or older, orBy calling our national toll-free service at 1-***-***-**** (TTY 1-***-***-****) or visiting your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to apply.You can help by being ready to:Provide any needed documents; andAnswer the questions listed below.Documents you may need to provideWe may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:Birth certificate or other proof of birth;Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States [More Info];U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968;W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year.Final divorce decree, if applying as a divorced spouse; andMarriage certificate.ImportantWe accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate. (We will return them to you.)Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.What we will ask youYour name, gender and Social Security number;Your name at birth (if different);Your date of birth and place of birth (State or foreign country);Whether a public or religious record was made of your birth before age 5;Your citizenship status;Whether you or anyone else has ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income on your behalf (if so, we will also ask for information on whose Social Security record you applied);Whether you have used any other Social Security number;Whether you became unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions at any time within the past 14 months. If "Yes," we will also ask the date you became unable to work;Whether you were ever in the active military service before 1968 and, if so, the dates of service and whether you have ever been eligible to receive a monthly benefit from a military or Federal civilian agency;Whether you or your spouse have ever worked for the railroad industry;Whether you have earned Social Security credits under another country's social security system;Whether you qualified for or expect to receive a pension or annuity based on your own employment with the Federal government of the United States or one of its States or local subdivisions;Whether you are currently married and, if so, your spouse's name, date of birth (or age) and Social Security number (if known).The names, dates of birth (or age) and Social Security numbers (if known) of any former spouses;The dates and places of each of your marriages and, for marriages that have ended, how and when they ended;The names of any unmarried children under 18, 18-19 and in secondary school or disabled before age 22;The name(s) of your employer(s) and/or information about your self-employment and the amount of your earnings for this year, last year and next year;Whether we may contact your employers for wage information;The month you want your benefits to begin; andIf you are within 3 months of age 65, whether you want to enroll in Medical Insurance (Part B of Medicare).Depending on the information you provide, we may need to ask other questions.NoteYou should also have your checkbook or other papers that show your account number at a bank, credit union or other financial institution so you can sign up forDirect Deposit, and avoid worries about lost or stolen checks and mail delays.
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
I hope this has helped....Please let me know if you have any questions at all....If this HAS helped, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the faces or stars on your screen, and then clicking “submit")...JustAnswer will not credit me for the time and work until you have rated in this way....Thank you!Lane……I hold a law degree (JD, Juris Doctorate), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in finance & tax, as well as CFP® and CRPS designations. - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, both for-profit and non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.
Did you see my answer?