Ask Larry: Questions and Answers

Displaying 1 - 10 of 7290 questions.

Can My Husband Collect My Social Security Now And Then Switch To His Own Benefits At Age 70?

My Husband was born in 1959 (62) and his earning are significantly higher than mine. I was born in 1962 (59). Can my Husband collect my social security this year then switch to his at 70 then I would claim mine?

Hi. The answer to your question is no, and for multiple reasons. First off, you would have to be drawing either your Social Security retirement or disability (SSDI) benefits in order for your spouse to potentially qualify for spousal benefits. Furthermore, only people born prior to January 2 1954 are allowed to file just for spousal benefits . . . Read More

Category: Filing Options
Posted: Mar 2 2021 - 8:37am

Can You Confirm That I Am Allowed To Suspend My Social Security Retirement Benefits?

I (DOB March 1954) began receiving my retirement benefit at age 64 in 2018. My husband (DOB July 1951) was eligible to receive a spousal benefit from my account at that time. Because he was grandfathered due to his age, he was able to defer his own retirement benefit while receiving a spousal benefit. He has been receiving this spousal benefit (not his own retirement benefit) since I started receiving my retirement benefit.

Effective July 2021 at age 70, my husband will start to receive his retirement benefit with full delayed retirement credits (DRCs) unreduced by the . . . Read More

Category: Suspending Retirement Benefits
Posted: Mar 1 2021 - 5:56pm

Is It Correct That I Can Draw A Partial Benefit From My Husband's Social Security?

Hi Larry, I started drawing my own Social Security at age 62 and am now 69 years old. I am four months older than my spouse, who also started drawing his Social Security at age 62. He will be 69 years old on March 9th. I was told by a friend that a can draw a partial of his Social Security. Is this information correct? My spouse receives almost three times what I receive.

Hi. Yes, it's certainly possible to be able to qualify for a partial, or excess, spousal benefit in addition to your own Social Security benefit. However, you would only qualify if your . . . Read More

Category: Spousal Benefits
Posted: Mar 1 2021 - 1:31pm

Can My Wife Start Drawing Spousal Benefits Before I Start Drawing My Benefits?

Hi Larry, my wife BD 4-21-55. My BD 1-23-52. My wife does not qualify for SS retirement benefit under her own work record. Except for me not starting my SS retirement benefit, I believe she otherwise would be eligible for spousal retirement benefit if she applied right now under my work record. She has Medicare benefit under my work record since she was 65.
If I wait until Jan. 2022 to begin my SS retirement benefit at 70, my wife won't be eligible for SS spousal retirement benefit until then. She would also be 7 months pass her FRA month of June 2021. Can she start her . . . Read More

Category: Spousal Benefits
Posted: Mar 1 2021 - 12:34pm

What Is Your Best Advice For Us?

I turned 66 feb 26th 2021. I can file SS in April at 66 and 2 months and receive $2,358. Per month. If I wait til I’m 70, I can receive $3,151. My wife turned 59 on February 25, 2021 and is projected to receive $ 2,100 at 67. What is your best advice for us?

Hi. Everyone's circumstances are unique, so there's no 'one size fits all' best strategy for when a person should start collecting their Social Security benefits. Our software ( is designed to . . . Read More

Category: Filing Strategies
Posted: Mar 1 2021 - 12:15pm

Why Can't I Receive Both My Social Security And A Railroad Spousal Benefit?

I am a spouse of a railroad retiree who had over 30 years of service. I am 64, and have paid into SS for 46 years, why can't I receive both retirement.

Hi. My expertise is limited to Social Security benefits, so you may want to direct your question to someone at the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for a more thorough explanation.

Here is my understanding. Railroad Retirement (RR) is a 2-tiered program. Tier 1 RR benefits are intended as a substitute for Social Security benefits, and earnings on which a person paid Social Security taxes can be . . . Read More

Category: Railroad Retirement & Social Security
Posted: Feb 28 2021 - 12:48pm

Shouldn't We Have Received A New Award Letter With Back Pay?

Hi Larry, My husband has stage 4 colon cancer, he was diagnosed in Oct 2019 , he didn't apply for SSDI until Oct 2020, he worked 2019 until Dec, and only 2 months in 2020.
He applied online and was contacted by the local field office , he had more forms to fill out. he did so on the phone with the rep.
CT sends the medical determination to Boston, a rep from there then sent more forms for him to fill out, he sent them.
He was approved with a Date of Dec.2020.. with payment not until July 2021. we were perplexed so after weeks of leaving voicemails etc we . . . Read More

Category: Disability Benefits
Posted: Feb 27 2021 - 10:53am

What Is The Latest Date That I Can Sign Up For SS Without Paying A Penalty?

I will be turning 65 on 6/28/2021. What is the latest date that I can sign up for SS without paying a penalty ...for anything, including prescriptions, etc all? This will be my initial sign up. Thanks Larry

Hi. I assume that you are referring to Medicare premium penalties, since you don't have to pay to file for Social Security benefits regardless of when you apply. If you have enough credits for Social Security benefits, Part A of Medicare is premium free regardless of when you apply. Part A coverage can be established retroactively for up to 6 months . . . Read More

Category: Medicare
Posted: Feb 27 2021 - 10:29am

How Can Social Security Just Stop Paying Spousal Support?

I was born Sep 20, 1953 and had been receiving spousal support from social Security for a few years. Sep 2020 I applied for full Social Security. In Nov 2020 I cancelled my application and requested to continue Spousal Support. In January I received a letter from Social Security saying all payments were cancelled. I did not start full Social Security and because I cancelled this request spousal support was eliminated and I was told it could not be restarted. I thought I was grandfathered in. How can they just stop paying spousal support?

Hi. If your own . . . Read More

Category: Miscellaneous
Posted: Feb 27 2021 - 10:14am

Can Social Security Substitute The Earnings Years Used To Calculate My Benefit Rate?

Can SSI substitute employment years?
I am 69 years old and have been receiving SSI since I was 65 and I am still working. In most of my employment years, my income was not that great and those were the years that SSI used to calculate my monthly check. But in recent years my income is much better. My question is can SSI substitute some of my recent employment years for some of the poor income years so I can receive a larger monthly check?

Hi. By SSI, I assume you mean that you're collecting Social Security retirement benefits. If that's the case, the . . . Read More

Category: Retirement Benefits
Posted: Feb 27 2021 - 9:48am
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