Do I Need To File For And Suspend My Benefits So That They Grow By .67% Per Month?

Nov 30 2018 - 6:38am

I purchased and am reading your book and have a question. I will be 66 in April 2019 but I'm still working full time. Do I have to apply for social security before my birthday and suspend my benefits so they grow .67% per month. Or do I do nothing and social security admin. will grow my benefits automatically if I don't apply? Do I then apply shortly before the time I plan to retire and collect my benefits? (How much time before I retire should I apply?) I guess I am asking because I thought I had to apply for social security at 66 and then suspend my benefits so they grow. I already applied for Medicare last April and declined Part B because I have group health insurance at work. I guess I will apply for Part B for me and my husband (who is on my health insurance) shortly before I retire, correct?

I find this process hugely confusing. I plan on applying in person if possible (it's difficult to get an appointment at the local office), so I need to know what to do since many employees there are not well informed and I cannot rely on their advice.
Thank you.

Hi Joanna,

No, you don't need to file for and suspend your benefits in order to accrue delayed retirement credits (DRC) starting at your full retirement age (FRA). Your benefit rate will grow at the same rate if you simply delay filing for your benefits instead.

When you do decide to start drawing your benefits, you can apply up to 4 months before the month that you want to claim benefits, and you can file for Part B of Medicare up to 3 months prior to the month you want your coverage to start. It would likely be easiest to file for both benefits at the same time, so you'll probably want to plan on filing 2 or 3 months in advance of the month that you want your benefits to start.

Depending on your husband's age and his status with regard to Social Security benefits, it may be possible for one of you to receive spousal benefits while letting your own benefit rate grow until age 70. You may want to strongly consider using our software to explore and compare your filing options in order to determine your optimal strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry