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Social security options
Old 11-26-2015, 07:36 AM   #1
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Social security options

Trying to get some answers. Recent changes on file and suspend and file and restrict just wanted to check if these would be options for my husband and I. I am 56, my husband is 63. According to our social security statements at full retirement age we would each make approx the same monthly benefits ($2200). Both of us want to retire soon in 2016. ( I am already collecting a pension). The question is since we only have a limited amount of time now since these social security changes to apply, would it benefit us for my husband to apply for SS now in order for me to get spousal benefits when I turn 62? Would that make sense for us? Thank you
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:33 PM   #2
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You don't turn 62 for SIX more years. DH will be almost 70 by then and will have earned delay credits to increase his benefit. Since your individual benefits are about equal there's nothing to be gained by getting a half benefit, especially a reduced one. Besides, in six years they may have changed the rules again.
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Old 11-26-2015, 02:59 PM   #3
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Trying to get some answers. Recent changes on file and suspend and file and restrict just wanted to check if these would be options for my husband and I.
If I read your question correctly, you are wondering if the new change would benefit you. The answer is no. The recent new change is negatively affecting you.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ng-eliminated/

"Under the new rules, retirees will only be able to claim spousal benefits if their spouse is already collecting Social Security retirement benefits. And people will only be able to receive either their own benefit or their spousal benefit, whichever is greater. Retirees will no longer be able to receive only spousal benefits first and then switch to their own retirement benefits later on."

Before this new change, your DH could file at 65 and then immediately suspend, and wait till 70 then receive his SS. Meanwhile, when you reach 62, you can claim spousal benefit. Now, that door is closed for you, and us too.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:33 PM   #4
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Check out SSAnalyze - Bedrock Capital Management
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:19 PM   #5
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That's the best free SS calculator I've seen. Thanks for posting.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:03 AM   #6
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That's the best free SS calculator I've seen. Thanks for posting.
I don't know about all possible options, but I used the Bedrock Capital analyzer before and after the law changed. Before the law, there were a number of options and it recommended that my wife file and suspend and I file at 62.

Now, it recommends that both of us wait until 70. It seems, that there is only one variable now - how long you expect to live. If you use the default or above (which is about 85 years or older), it seems you should wait until 70. If you plan on not living as long, it makes more sense to file early. Not sure where the break even point is, but me and my wife are just going to do what we can to hold off collecting until 70.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:27 PM   #7
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We're fairly close to OP's situation.

The old strategy I was thinking of using before I learned about spousal benefits was to have the higher/older earner claim at 70 and the lower/younger earner claim at 62. You receive both benefits as long as both spouses are alive. You lose the age 62 benefit when the first spouse dies, but the surviving spouse always keeps the largest benefit. So the age 70 benefit lasts as long as either spouse is alive, the age 62 benefit only as long as both spouses are alive.

That's a simple strategy, with some favorable probabilities behind it, especially when one spouse is significantly older.

If you think both spouses can survive long enough, you can both delay until 70, but the oldest spouse has to live the 15 years, or whatever your crossover point is, beyond when the youngest spouse hits 70. So if DH is 77 when you hit 70, he'd have to live to 92 or so before you have 15 years of age 70 benefits from the younger spouse's SS.

Heck, by taking one at 70 and one at 62 you don't need to worry which one is best since you're doing both!
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:15 PM   #8
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We're fairly close to OP's situation.

Heck, by taking one at 70 and one at 62 you don't need to worry which one is best since you're doing both!
Good idea. I'll model that as I refine my analysis.
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:43 PM   #9
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Good idea. I'll model that as I refine my analysis.
+1 with the new changes, that's about all we can think of now.
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:28 PM   #10
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DH will turn 70 two weeks before I turn 62, and I am thinking we will start SS for both of us then.


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Old 11-29-2015, 11:43 PM   #11
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...Heck, by taking one at 70 and one at 62 you don't need to worry which one is best since you're doing both!
But if the higher earner takes at 70 and the other at 62 and the 70 year old later dies, isn't the survivor benefit haircut for the survivor starting their benefit before FRA?
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