Please confirm Social Security strategy

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AAA
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Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by AAA » Tue May 08, 2018 3:20 pm

I started collecting at full retirement age. Spouse is one year away from full retirement age and has not started collecting yet. Her monthly amount at full retirement age is just about exactly half mine. I'd appreciate confirmation of what we plan to do. My understanding is that spouse is grandfathered into eligibility for this.

At full retirement age my wife will start spousal benefits. Her monthly amount would basically be the same as if she started collecting on her own record (which she had planned to do until we learned about this). At age 70, she will switch to collecting her own benefits. The advantage is that she will get the age 70 amount but in the meantime she will get a monthly benefit for four years.

Thank you.

Austintatious
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by Austintatious » Tue May 08, 2018 3:25 pm

DW's birthdate?

soccerrules
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by soccerrules » Tue May 08, 2018 3:29 pm

edited
removed post as my information was wrong.
Last edited by soccerrules on Wed May 09, 2018 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

delamer
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by delamer » Tue May 08, 2018 3:39 pm

I believe you are correct, because your spouse was born before 1954.

Austintatious
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by Austintatious » Tue May 08, 2018 3:39 pm

I'm not an expert but I do believe one can make a restricted application for spousal benefit only, having attained full retirement age, if born on or before January 1, 1954. See the linked explanation on Social Security web site.

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html

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AAA
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by AAA » Tue May 08, 2018 5:45 pm

Austintatious wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 3:25 pm
DW's birthdate?
1953

LadyIJ
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by LadyIJ » Tue May 08, 2018 5:52 pm

Yes, born in 1953 - she is grandfathered in. She can collect spousal benefits while her ss continues to grow. Just make sure when you apply in person that the understand it's spousal benefits. I was also born in 1953 and researched. People keep telling me I was wrong, but I went to the experts. You're good.

Austintatious
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by Austintatious » Tue May 08, 2018 6:15 pm

AAA wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 5:45 pm
Austintatious wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 3:25 pm
DW's birthdate?
1953
AAA,

take a look at the SS page regarding spousal benefits via the link posted just above. Look at the section entitled "How much will I receive?", more specifically, the second passage of text in that section highlighted in blue. It looks to me that she beat the cutoff date and remains eligible for restricted application for spousal benefit ONLY. My own DW's bd was in early 53 and she plans to file her restricted application for spousal around October of this year, to be effective come next January.

Having read threads on the forum about folks following this strategy, the key seems to be absolutely certain that the good folks at SS understand that she is NOT filing for her own benefits so that she's not "deemed" to have filed under her own history. And the strategy must NOT under any circumstances be confused with the so called File and Suspend strategy we've heard so much about in the past.

JoeRetire
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by JoeRetire » Tue May 08, 2018 6:23 pm

AAA wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 3:20 pm
At full retirement age my wife will start spousal benefits. Her monthly amount would basically be the same as if she started collecting on her own record (which she had planned to do until we learned about this). At age 70, she will switch to collecting her own benefits. The advantage is that she will get the age 70 amount but in the meantime she will get a monthly benefit for four years.
Seems like a good strategy to me.

If we were the same ages as you, my wife and I would have done something similar (although in my case, she would have started her benefits at full retirement age, and I would have started spousal then switched to my own benefits at 70. I am the higher earner). Unfortunately, the law changes nixed our plan. Nice that you are grandfathered in.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Tue May 08, 2018 9:13 pm

My wife, just this month, started collecting her spousal as she reached FRA (full retirement age). I started collecting in February when I reached 70.

One surprise, I thought she was going to get half my payment, turns out she gets half of what I would have gotten at FRA.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

Missedtheboat
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by Missedtheboat » Tue May 08, 2018 10:09 pm

I just did exactly what you are contemplating. It's a no-brainer IMHO.

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AAA
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by AAA » Tue May 08, 2018 10:28 pm

Thanks all. Just wanted to make sure.

soccerrules
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by soccerrules » Wed May 09, 2018 10:38 am

TheGreyingDuke wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 9:13 pm
One surprise, I thought she was going to get half my payment, turns out she gets half of what I would have gotten at FRA.
Duke-
Unfortunately I think many many people have been surprised by this.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

bikechuck
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by bikechuck » Wed May 09, 2018 10:59 am

TheGreyingDuke wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 9:13 pm
My wife, just this month, started collecting her spousal as she reached FRA (full retirement age). I started collecting in February when I reached 70.

One surprise, I thought she was going to get half my payment, turns out she gets half of what I would have gotten at FRA.
Two questions ...

1) Can she step up to your full age 70 benefit if you precede her in death, I think that she can but I am not sure.

2) If a spouse who is waiting to collect SS until the age of 70 dies at the age of 68 before they claim their benefit ...

a) can the surviving spouse begin claiming their partner's age 68 benefit?

b) If the surviving spouse waits two more years before stepping up to their deceased spouse's benefit can they then claim what would have been
their deceased spouse's age 70 benefit?

vested1
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Re: Please confirm Social Security strategy

Post by vested1 » Wed May 09, 2018 2:45 pm

bikechuck wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:59 am
TheGreyingDuke wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 9:13 pm
My wife, just this month, started collecting her spousal as she reached FRA (full retirement age). I started collecting in February when I reached 70.

One surprise, I thought she was going to get half my payment, turns out she gets half of what I would have gotten at FRA.
Two questions ...

1) Can she step up to your full age 70 benefit if you precede her in death, I think that she can but I am not sure.

2) If a spouse who is waiting to collect SS until the age of 70 dies at the age of 68 before they claim their benefit ...

a) can the surviving spouse begin claiming their partner's age 68 benefit?

b) If the surviving spouse waits two more years before stepping up to their deceased spouse's benefit can they then claim what would have been
their deceased spouse's age 70 benefit?
1. Delayed retirement credits stop when the recipient dies, so a surviving spouse would get whatever the deceased spouse was getting when they died. Since TheGrayingDuke waited until 70 to file, his surviving wife would get that amount plus ongoing COLA increases for the rest of her life if he should die before her and if she is at least FRA. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ ... rtred.html

2.
a.) Yes, but the surviving spouse's survivor benefit would be reduced if taken before their own FRA.
b.) No, the survivor benefit amount would not be increased by the survivor delaying past their own FRA, other than by COLA.

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