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Social Security Letter - Normal or ?
Old 05-07-2017, 01:28 PM   #1
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Social Security Letter - Normal or ?

I am currently collecting SS under my ex-wife's account and letting my own SS benefit increase until I am 70. The loophole was recently changed but due to my age is still able to use the it. So, I collect 1/2 of what my ex-wife would collect at 66. Meanwhile my own SS benefit should keep on increasing yearly until I am 70.

I recently received a letter from the Social Security Administration telling me:

Quote:
You get monthly benefits as a spouse. If you apply for retirement benefits on your own social security number, our records show you may get higher benefits.
Of course, I already know that. The letter goes on to tell me that I would have to apply before I can get the higher benefit under my SS number. It encourages me to contact SS 'right away to make sure that you do not lose any benefits and receive the highest benefit possible'.

I am wondering why they sent this to me since I applied with a restricted application because I did NOT want to get benefits from my account at this time. I want to let them increase until I am 70.

Has anybody else received this letter now or in the past? What did you make of it? I get the feeling that they may be trying to save SSA some money by getting me to voluntarily give up this loophole that has now been closed. Or maybe it's just a routine form letter?
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:37 PM   #2
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I haven't received anything like that but I'm not drawing a spousal SS either, just on my own record.
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:49 PM   #3
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Routine form letter. About how far from age 70 are you?
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:53 PM   #4
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I think they probably just inform you, not everybody knows everything like the ER crowd.
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:53 PM   #5
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Yes, this is a routine form letter. DW, who collects spousal on my SS, gets that same letter occasionally. Safe to ignore it.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:16 PM   #6
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They just do the math, and saw that you could right at this moment, get more. They dont know your smart and will stop this one and collect your own at 70. I read a post yesterday that a non working spouse never collected her 1/2 for many years. She didnt know she was eligible .
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:24 PM   #7
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When I was receiving SS benefits as a spouse under age 70, I recall getting strange letters from SS that made no sense like this one. If you have the time and patience, why not stop by the local SS office and ask them to decode the communication? BTW, Did the letter start out... "Congratulations!"
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:52 PM   #8
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Why wouldn't the SSA want to have you bite at the immediate higher draw to lessen THEIR future liability.

AT&T sends me constant offers on their new cell phone plans while I sit grandfathered into the original $29.99 a month unlimited data plan from iPhone day 1. They would love me to bite but no way Jose.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:58 PM   #9
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I'm sure there are people who started with the 1/2 spousal amount, and never switched to their own as they didn't know or forgot about it. Missing out on some SS benefit.
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:35 PM   #10
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I agree they're probably trying to make you aware of your options except you already know them.

I wonder if I'll get a similar letter. I'm 64, not collecting on my record yet. DH died last year at 78 and I applied for Survivor benefits in person. They not only told me what I'd get- they also told me I could get more on my record (like you, I'm waiting till 70) AND what I could collect on my Ex's record (slightly less than as Survivor for DH, which surprised me),
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:53 PM   #11
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Chuckanut, I'm doing the same thing, on divorced spousal SS until age 70 while my own SS grows.

I don't remember getting that letter, but that probably doesn't mean much. If you have something in writing that says your own SS is growing all this time, then I wouldn't worry about it. If not, I'd probably want to talk to someone about it. Maybe they disagree about your being grandfathered into that loophole.

I'm worried about that even though I started getting my divorced spousal SS before they got rid of the loophole. If I were you, I'd worry too (in case you haven't guessed, I'm a worrywart). Could it be a prelude to telling you that your own SS is not growing, and that your age 66 SS is more than you are getting now by a tiny amount, and that they don't want to hear you raising cain about it after the fact? EEEK.. eek eek eek
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
(in case you haven't guessed, I'm a worrywart)
No, please relax. This is just a form letter. They reason that you might not be aware that you could be getting a little more now than the spousal amount you are receiving, so they just feel it necessary to inform you of that.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
No, please relax. This is just a form letter. They reason that you might not be aware that you could be getting a little more now than the spousal amount you are receiving, so they just feel it necessary to inform you of that.
You are probably right.

In 13 months, I will be age 70 so I can switch to my own SS. Either it will reflect growth from ages 66-70, or else it won't.

If it's nice and big, I'll most definitely relax.

And if it isn't then I will just wear a mad look on my face for a few days like this: Then this and then this , and I'll go on with life.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:07 PM   #14
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W2R-i also started collecting spousal at my FRA. I have not received a letter such as the OP's. I will reach 70 in 18 months, when my benefit will increase from 872 to 2,900 +/-. At the time that I applied for spousal I met with a SS agent and discussed roughly what my benefit would be at age 70. I'm not concerned but I guess if I received such a letter, I'd double check.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:08 PM   #15
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Also, be prepared for this:

6 reasons your Social Security benefits may be less than you expect

Your expectation: You’ve delayed taking your benefits to get the biggest benefits payout possible, and you are finally ready to file for Social Security. You make your claim and are offered six months’ worth of retroactive benefits as part of the deal, which you take. What a nice bonus for your patience in waiting to file!



The reality: Your monthly benefits will be lower than you expected.

Social Security is required to offer the lump-sum back pay to anyone applying after full retirement age. But there’s a catch: If you take the lump sum, the clock for claiming gets turned back by six months, reducing your delayed retirement credits and resulting in lower benefits for the rest of your life. If you’ve racked up 48 months’ worth of credits, your benefit will be 32% higher than if you had claimed at age 66. But if you take the lump sum, you’ll have just 42 months’ worth of credits and just a 28% hike over your age 66 benefit. Rather than take the money, hold out for the higher benefit, which will likely result in more lifetime income.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:20 PM   #16
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Thanks for the advice.

I agree it's probably just a letter to those who don't know for sure what is happening. I imagine it saves them a lot of grief when a person who didn't realize the could collect more comes into the office and raises H!^#&L about it. And, for people like me, it also saves the government some cash if I bite.
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