Ask Larry

I Got Hit By Deeming. Can I Undo The Damage?

I was told that I could have been drawing Social Security under my husbands instead of mine. I started drawing at 62 and under his I would drawn more. Can it be changed?

Thanks, Carol

Hi Carol,

It sounds like you filed for your retirement benefit at 62 and then were also forced, due to deeming, to take your excess spousal benefit and that the excess spousal benefit turned out to be small or zero. Had you waited till full retirement age, at which point deeming ended under the old law (but not for those who became or become 62 after January 1, 2016), you could have filed just for your full spousal benefit and then, at 70, filed for your retirement benefit.

The only thing you can consider now, depending on your age, is suspending your retirement benefit between full retirement age and 70 and restarting it at 70. You will continue to collect your excess spousal benefit during this period if you were 62 on or before January 1, 2016. But the loss in your own retirement benefit for four years may not be worth it. Indeed, this strategy could just cost you four years of retirement benefits.

Please run our software at www.maximizemysocialsecurity.com and see what's optimal at this point.

My best, Larry

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Posted: 
Sep 6 2016 - 9:00am
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