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Social Security Start Stop Start Strategy
Old 01-07-2019, 07:11 PM   #1
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Social Security Start Stop Start Strategy

Anyone take advantage of this method. I have read on it before but still not clear on the details of this strategy.

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Old 01-08-2019, 02:37 PM   #2
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It's called "File and Suspend", but some of the loophole was closed in 2015.

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Old 01-08-2019, 05:58 PM   #3
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SS explained Jan 8... Motley fool.

An excellent article that goes deep into the way SS works, even if you thought you knew it all. Should answer most questions.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:29 PM   #4
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OP could be referring to starting SS, collecting for up to 12 months, then stopping, paying back what was owed, and then restart at a new higher monthly amount.

I don't know much about it except it is limited to once per lifetime, and you can only collect for ~12 months before stopping and restarting. There may be other caveats, but those were the two big ones that I recall.

I've heard about situations where it would be helpful, but I don't recall offhand what those were. Maybe if someone is really sick and may or may not survive a serious illness? But then optimizing SS is probably not high on the priority list.

You can find the page on the SS website that describes the option by searching for it. Edit, here's the page:
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:30 PM   #5
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I realize this is an old thread but I think the OP's question has some validity and some of the members who know the nuances of Social Security may have good ideas.

DW and I just attended a seminar on the subject of SS this evening. One of the possible strategies was Start Stop Start. I'll explain to the best of my abilities.

Start collecting at 62. Stop collecting at full retirement age. Start collecting again at 70. I don't have a copy of the numbers presented at the seminar but the presenter described it this way...

When you start at 62 you receive the low payout commensurate with that age. You collect that lower amount for approximately 4-5 years until full retirement age (usually around 66 - 67). At FRA, stop the payments and let the benefit increase in value due to the "8%" factor for three years or so. Then start collecting again at age 70. The presentation I attended indicated the amount you will receive at age 70 will be nearly the same as you would have received had you waited until FRA originally. So yes, you still take a hit in the amount you receive at 70 but it's a way of eating your cake (taking SS early) and having it too (collecting a higher amount at age 70).

I may take time to do some back of the napkin calculations on this but if anyone else has actually taken this approach it would be good to hear from you.

One reason I think the numbers supposedly work in your favor is the assumption that you receive COLA increases during the five years from 62 to 67 and then you add 8% to that COLA'd number for the next 3 years.
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