Is There Only One Best Filing Option For Us?

Mar 14 2017 - 7:15am

Dear Larry,

I just finished reading your book. Thank you for talking in terms that regular people can understand. Our question is fairly straight forward. We want to confirm what we gleaned from reading your book.

I will be 62 in August 2017 and my husband will be 66 in October 2017. I was the higher wage earner. We are currently taking time off from our teaching jobs, so we are unemployed. My husband successfully waded through the myriad of rules for Medicare and all is taken care of there. Now we are looking at what to do for social security.

We do not have any pension to count on since we did not teach in the public school sector, so we were thinking of my husband filing for his benefits when he reaches FRA this October. However, after reading your book, we are rethinking. Here is our question.Oh yes, we have been married for 23 years.

Are we correct in our assumption that we have only one best option and that would be for me (Lisa) to file early and suspend so that my husband can file for spousal benefits? He would then wait until 70 to file and then I, being now FRA, would file for my spousal benefit? Also, am I correct in saying that what SSA shows as a benefit amount today for waiting until 70 will increase each year? I was the higher wage earner and we both plan to go back to work or start our own business within the next year.

Thank you very much.

Gary & Lisa

Hi Gary & Lisa,

No, there are numerous possible filing options, and the best one depends on your relative benefit rates and your expected earnings prior to full retirement age. You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website in order to explore all of your filing options, so that you can determine which strategy is best for you as a couple.

Best, Jerry