Can I Suspend My Retirement Benefit And Collect Just My Spousal Benefit While Waiting to Restart My Retirement Benefit At Its Highest Value At 70?

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Sep 4 2016 - 4:45pm

Hi Larry.....I turned 66 in June, 2016 and my Social Security Disability switched over to my regular Social Security benefit of $682.00 a month. My husband's benefit after paying Medicare is $1,478.00 a month. I had heard I could apply for a spousal benefit and wait until 70 to collect my own Social Security benefit. I called the Local Social Security Office and they said no that it automatically converted to my regular benefit. Is this true and is there anything I could do to change it if is not true?

Thank You, Carol

Hi Carol, Unfortunately, under the new law, you are too young to do this. If you suspend your retirement benefit, you can't collect anything on anyone else's record until you unsuspend your retirement benefit. Because I don't know your husband's full retirement benefit, I can't tell you what's the best strategy in terms of maximizing your lifetime benefits. But our software can tell you in a matter of seconds. It sounds like you have the choice of collecting around $700 a month (partly your $682 monthly retirement benefit plus a small monthly excess spousal benefit) forever or waiting till 70 to collect about $925 per month from that point on. It's likely that waiting till 70 is optimal, but this also depends on your maximum age of life and your husband's age and his maximum age of life. So it's a highly complex calculation, which only a computer can make. So please run our $40 program that we market at www.maximizemysocialsecurity.com.

best, Larry