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Congress recently made changes to some very good planning loopholes having to do with the spousal benefit. The restricted benefit is still available to those that reach full retirement age before 2020 which is you. Normally when you elect to receive your SS retirement benefit, you will elect to take both the spousal (50% of your spouse's benefit if he or she has elected to receive the benefit) and your normal retirement benefit. You only receive the higher of these two benefits. A restricted application (which Congress has eliminated but you are still eligible for) allows you to restrict your application to receiving ONLY the spousal benefit. The benefit to this is that your normal retirement benefit can still grow until age 70 at 8% per year while you are still collecting the spousal benefit. You will then switch over to a much higher retirement benefit (increased 32%) at age 70. If you can afford to do this, it is a very good planning opportunity.
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