Ask Larry

Can I Potentially Start, Stop, And Restart My Benefits More Than Once?

Start Stop and Start Strategy: I am single turning 66 in 2020. I am full time employed earning 75,000 a year gross. I have 18,000 worth of credit card debt. Every month I pay close to $800 in Visa payments and can't seem to get ahead. I was unemployed for awhile and thus the huge credit card debt. I plan to work until 70. 1) Does it make sense to start claiming my social security payments to pay of the debt? Once paid, I would like to stop/suspend my social security benefits until I am 70 to let them grow with delayed retirement credits. 2) If I lose my job again, can I start stop start again for a second time or do we get one shot at this? Thanks!


Yes, you could start drawing your benefits, then stop and restart them multiple times between full retirement age (FRA) and age 70. There's no set limit on the number of times you could do so, however, you couldn't stop or restart your benefits any earlier than the month after the month in which you make your request (

I certainly wouldn't argue with you if you feel that you need to start your benefits early in order to pay off your credit card debt, but you may want to first consider using our software ( to fully analyze your options so that you can make the best possible decision.

Best, Jerry

Jan 19 2020 - 5:29pm
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