When Should I File My Application In Order To Claim Benefits At Age 70?

Mar 20 2017 - 6:45am

Hi Larry:
I filed a restricted application and am collecting on my wife's record. She claimed at age 62; I am planning on waiting until age 70.
I will turn 70 on September 14, 2018. At that time the plan is for my wife (who will be 67) to begin taking her spousal benefit, which will be substantially more than her own benefit.
What is the optimal calendar date that I should apply with SSA for my age 70 (9/14 birthday) benefit; to ensure there is no snafu? Also should my wife apply for her spousal benefit on that same date? I have heard there are what-outs as to the date you and your spouse apply for benefits when you are already collecting and reach the age 70 threshold.
Thank you very much.

Hi,

You can file up to 4 months in advance of the month you want to start benefits, but you don't really need to file that far in advance. Since you're drawing spousal benefits, Social Security won't be able to process your application until sometime in the latter part of August 2018, so you might want to wait until then to file. My understanding is that Social Security's appointment system is backlogged, so you should probably call to make an appointment by early July 2018. Your wife can file for her spousal benefits at the same time that you file for your benefits.

On your application, you will want to specify September 2018 as your month of election to start your retirement benefits. Social Security considers you to be age 70 for the entire month in which you attain that age. Your wife will want to start her excess spousal benefits that same month.

Best, Jerry