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Yet another SS (at 70) question for our experts
Old 04-23-2016, 07:18 PM   #1
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Yet another SS (at 70) question for our experts

Thought I knew everything I needed to know about SS as it pertains to my situation. Went to a free seminar today which made me doubt my knowledge (at least until I can maybe get through to SS on Monday). Hope someone here can help me rest assured (or at least get started with another strategy.)

DW and I found no advantage to file and suspend with her then taking half mine (her own record is better). Today's speaker was saying (words to the effect) one must file and suspend at FRA in order for subsequent payments to increase by 8% per year up to age 70. This is NOT what I understood. I thought one could simply wait until one month after FRA and get an increase of 2/3% or wait the full four years (66 to 70) and receive 32% higher monthly payments. Is "file and suspend" required to make this happen as the FP said?

I understand that file and suspend at 66 WOULD give more flexibility in case (especially a single person) were to find out that they were terminal. They could go back and get a lump sum of what was not received so far. Naturally, that would then commit them to future payments as if they retired at FRA.

Have I missed something. I dug around on the net (not SSA./gov) and think I have found my answer, but want to be sure from the REAL experts - those on this forum

Sorry to sound so dumb on this subject which seems to have been covered so well and so many times in the past. Just want to be certain I don't screw this up.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:46 PM   #2
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Today's speaker was wrong... there is no need to file and suspend in order to get delayed retirement credits.

Or if there is it is the first time I have heard that.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:04 PM   #3
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You do have to wait until FRA to claim the spousal benefit, otherwise the early benefit is locked in and you can't claim the boosted age 70 amount for that spouse later on. That sounds like what they were talking about. I've never heard of having to file and suspend in order to "activate" delayed credits past FRA for everyone.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:59 AM   #4
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Thanks, pb4uski and Animorph. My understanding is the same as yours.

Anyone else have a "book, chapter and verse" I could use?

Thanks again.
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:14 PM   #5
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This is my standard IRS spousal benefits link. You may have to click on the "How much will I receive" button to expand that section.

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/...ng6.html#&a0=0

#1 The spouse not receiving spousal benefits must be receiving retirement benefits (or suspended benefits).

"you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits."

I see no restriction that the spouse already receiving benefits must be FRA or older only that they are receiving benefits. FRA is only a problem if that spouse wants to delay benefits.

#2 The spouse applying for the spousal benefit receives a permanently reduced benefit if they start spousal benefits before their own FRA.

"between age 62 and your full retirement age, the amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to your full retirement age."

And of course the new provision: "Note: If you were born before January 2, 1954 and have already reached full retirement age, you can choose to receive only the spouse’s benefit and delay receiving your retirement benefit until a later date. If your birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If you file for one benefit, you will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits."
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