Is Suspending Her Benefits A Good Choice For My Friend?

Feb 27 2018 - 7:09am

Hello, I am asking this for my friend Diana who will be 66 in August 2018. She currently receives social security and did so at age 62. She had a tragic fall and actually cut her arm badly and it had to be reattached. She was a hairdresser...and could not work any more. She finally got back on her feet and is working although not paid a high wage. She stays below the $16000 threshold. She would like to perhaps "suspend" her social security payments when she turns 66 until age 70, as her monthly amount is so reduced. Do you feel this is a good choice for her?

Hi,

Assuming that Diana can reasonably be expected to live an average lifespan or better, and if she would be financially able to get by without any Social Security payments for 4 years then the answer is probably yes. Suspending her Social Security retirement benefits from age 66 to age 70 would increase Diana's monthly benefit rate by 32%.

You don't mention Diana's marital history, but if she's married or widowed or if she's divorced from someone to whom she was previously married for at least 10 years then she may have other filing options that could make suspending her own benefits disadvantageous. Diana may want to consider using our maximization software to explore her options and determine her best strategy with regard to Social Security.

Best, Jerry