Ask Larry

Filing Strategy in MaximizeMySocialSecurity after the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

Thank you for your response. Attached please find the software results we ran on 15Nov2015... after the model had been updated.
The report recommends I file for "spousal benefits" after my wife files a FRA. Then, she files for "spousal benefits" when I reach 70. As I understand the outcome, it is essentially the same thing as filing and suspending, without calling it that. And, interestingly the final Social Security payout yielded the same numbers (exactly) as our previous file & suspend scenarios run about 3 years before.
Am I missing something, or is our case one in which the outcome remains the same... just not calling it "file and suspend"?

Thank you, Mike, for your assistance to field such a good product.

This categorically is NOT a file and suspend strategy! Nowhere in the maximized strategy does it say to suspend. The whole point of the BBA was to eliminate auxiliary benefits during suspension.
So, this is not essentially the same thing as filing and suspending since there is no suspension.
It’s just the proper sequencing of your and Elizabeth’s retirement and spouse’s benefits.

Filing Dates for Maximized Benefits
• William files for spousal benefits in Feb 2018, the year William turns 66.
• William files for retirement benefits in Feb 2022, the year William turns 70.
• Elizabeth files for retirement benefits in Oct 2017, the year Elizabeth turns 65.
• Elizabeth files for spousal benefits in Feb 2022, the year Elizabeth turns 70.
• Elizabeth files for widow(er)'s benefits in Dec 2035, the year Elizabeth turns 83.

Again, there is no suspension by either you or Elizabeth!


We have purchased the MMSS software twice. The first time while beginning to plan for retirement and secondly, right after you updated the software following the BBA of 2015. While the old "file and suspend" was eliminated, in 2015 your software recommended using the same technique, but perhaps using different nomenclature. In reading your latest book "Get What's Yours" it seems we are NOT able to pursue this technique. My wife and I were both born in February 1952, making us now 64. We plan to purchase/running the software again just prior to my wife's to applying for SS in Feb2017. Our MMSS User Name is "bischik1952".
Can you tell me which was correct: 1) the software results after the BBA of 2015 which indicates using a version of file and suspend, or 2) the latest book which indicates we cannot use this technique.
Thank you ever so much for the software and your books. They have really helped us prepare for this phase of our lives.

I just ran your case and the maximized strategy does not indicate that you should file and suspend. The BBA of 2015 eliminated the advantage of filing and suspending for you. The book and MaximizeMySocialSecurity are saying the same thing, you can't use this technique.
If you have a report that you ran after our Nov 2015 BBA update that shows you filing and suspending please send it to me at:


Jul 29 2016 - 8:15pm
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