Should I File And Suspend On My Own Record?

Jan 28 2017 - 10:15am

Larry first I bought your book and thought it was great I also signed up for the Maximize My Social Security. Here is my question I was born in 1949 along with my ex-wife, we were married 14 years and were divorced in 1984. My understanding from your book and the MMSS calculator is I should file for and suspend my Social Security then file for my Divorced Spousal Benefit. I made an appointment with my local SS office and meet with a representative I explained to him that I wanted to file for and suspend my Social Security then file for my Divorced Spousal Benefit. He told me it was not necessary for me to file and suspend my own SS that I could leave it alone to continue to grow all I need do was to apply for my Divorced Spousal Benefit. He assured me that since both my ex and myself had already reached FRA that I would not be subject to being deemed when I filed for my own SS at 70. They did not accept my Marriage Certificate as proof of marriage even though it is the original with the Magistrate's, County Recorder of Deeds and two Witness's hand written signatures. I have 30 days to get a copy with an official stamp to proceed, what I want to know is if I was given the correct information about not having to File and suspend are am I putting my future SS payments in jeopardy and if so what should I do.

Hi,

You absolutely should NOT file and suspend on your own record. That would prevent you from receiving divorced spousal benefits, so the advice that you received from the Social Security rep was correct. Instead, you want to file a restricted application for divorced spousal benefits only now, and then apply for benefits on your own record when you reach age 70. You will still earn delayed retirement credits, even if you don't file and suspend.

I'm not sure why they wouldn't accept your marriage certificate. Normally, only a certified copy of the divorce decree is needed, provided it lists the date of marriage in order to establish that the 10 year duration of marriage requirement was met.

Best, Jerry