Should My Husband File Just For Spousal Benefits When My SSDI Benefits Convert To Regular Retirement Benefits?

Aug 12 2019 - 10:14am

Background:

Husband, (Civil Engineer), will turn 66 in September,2019. He plans to continue to work until age 70 to maximize his Social Security benefits.

Wife, (former legal secretary). will turn 66 in December, 2019. She has been on disability (for blindness) for 22 years. but did work for more than
80 quarters prior to disability.

Plan:

Wife's disability will automatically convert to Social Security at age 66 in December, 2019. She draws $1,568/month.

Husband plans to retire at age 70; however, since that birthday is in September, 2023, he will continue to work and probably wait until January, 2024, of the next year to file for his benefits.

Questions:

Should husband file for restricted spousal benefits (DOB 1953) on wife's retirement in December of 2019 (for next 4 years) for which he will receive approximately $784/month at her current benefit?

If so, would this benefit need to end upon his 70th birthday, or upon his filing for his own Social Security in January of 2024?
(Note: It is our understanding that by waiting to file in January, 2024, he can get retroactive benefits back to September 2023 less the restricted spousal benefits drawn between September to December, 2023.)

Are we correct in assuming that Social Security will make the adjustment for the months he drew Spousal benefits between September & December 2023?

At the time of his filing for his own benefits to start in January 2024, should his wife also stop her retirement and file for spousal benefits retroactively back to his September birthday? And are we correct in assuming that they will make the modification between her regular benefit and her spousal benefits for those months?

Do you see any downside to this initial plan,?

(Note: If either one of us dies before age 70. or if husband retires earlier than age 70 because of health or job loss; of course, we know that will change everything.)

Medicare Plan:

Background:

Both individuals have filed for just Part A of Medicare to keep Husband's current employer's health insurance.

Upon filing for Social Security in January 2024), we plan to have Medicare Part B & supplements selected to begin the month of January, 2024.

However, if husband wants to continue to work 20 hours per week at current employer, we plan to keep employer's health insurance and then pick up Medicare at the time of total retirement.

Hi,

It sounds like your husband should file a restricted application for spousal benefits only effective with September 2019 when he reaches full retirement age (FRA). He doesn't need to wait until your Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits convert to regular retirement benefits in order to qualify for spousal benefit.

It would almost certainly be best for your husband to switch to his own Social Security retirement benefits effective with the month he reaches age 70. He certainly wouldn't want to wait past that month to claim his own retirement benefits because he'll stop earning delayed retirement credits (DRC) when he reaches age 70. If your husband continues working after age 70, his benefit rate can still be recalculated to credit his additional earnings even after he starts drawing his own benefits.

Your husband's spousal benefits would continue past age 70 if he doesn't file for his own benefits, but if he files for his own benefits after age 70 and claims retroactive benefits the spousal benefits that he was already paid for those months would be withheld from his back pay. In other words, he can't be paid both benefits for the same months no matter when he files.

You and your husband should strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to fully explore and compare all of your options in order to make sure that you have identified the optimal plan for claiming your benefits.

Your plan for Medicare sounds fine if I understand you correctly. You and your husband can both wait to enroll in Part B of Medicare with no penalty for late filing as long as you're both covered under his employer group health plan, provided that at least 20 employees are covered under the plan and your husband is an active employee.

Best, Jerry