Can I Suspend My SS Benefits Until Age 66?

Feb 4 2019 - 10:06am

Hi Larry: I will turn 63 March of this year. I started taking my social security October 2018. I currently have it going to a high yield savings account. I have a small C corp business which I make enough to live on. I am also planning on getting married to a 77 year old man who is also working and collecting social security. I am beginning to think, after reading some of your responses that maybe I should have waited until at least age 66.

My questions are, can I suspend my ss benefits until age 66, and will getting married affect my benefits?

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for the great work that you do.

Hi,

No, you can't voluntarily suspend your benefits prior to reaching your full retirement age (FRA), although if you earn too much to be due benefits because of Social Security's earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html) your benefits could be involuntarily suspended. Social Security would need to withhold $1 of your benefits for each $2 that you earn in excess of $17640 in 2019.

What you could do instead, though, is withdraw your application. However, you would then have to repay all of the benefits that you've received so far, and you would have to request the withdrawal within a year of when you started drawing your benefits ( https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/withdrawal.html). You may want to strongly consider using our software to explore and compare your options so that you can make the best possible choice moving forward.

Getting married won't affect your current benefits assuming that you're drawing benefits based on your own work record, but if you or your new husband have a primary insurance amount (PIA) that's less than half of the other spouse's PIA, the spouse with the lower PIA could potentially be eligible for additional spousal benefits. Our software could also help you determine if that's a possibility in your case.

Best, Jerry