Ask Larry

Benefit Amount

If I Take My SS Now But End Up Withdrawing My Claim, Will My Wife's Spousal Benefit Recalculate To The Date I Reapply?

I reach my FRA August 2023. My wife took SS at 62 and her FRA is May 2025. If I take my SS now and then opt to exit out before one year and repay my benefits and spousal benefits, will my wife’s spousal benefit recalculate to the new date I apply for SS? Thanks.

Hi. Yes. If you file for benefits now but subsequently withdraw your claim, when you reapply for benefits both your benefit amount and your wife's spousal amount would be calculated based on your ages as of your new benefit entitlement dates.

Saturday, January 28, 2023 - 16:14

Why Was My Sister's Benefit Amount Cut?

my sister lives right now in bosnia and hercegovina and she have social security after 65 and recently they asked her did she work anywhere before US and she said she did send them back paper she reciving about 150$ working 15 years in Bosnia and they cut her ss from 300$ to 180 after she said she worked before,i dont understend why?
thank you so much!Daniela and yes she is US citizen!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023 - 11:00

Why Would I Apply For Benefits If Social Security Can't Give Me A Final Amount?

I made a call to SSA to find out what my benefits will be at 68. They gave me a total but I think it's incorrect. But, in their defense they said it was an estimate.
1) I did receive 8% for deferring calculations
2) I did not see any COLA increase calculations
3) SSA stated that I wolud need to apply for social security benefits & then appeal.
4) Why would I apply if they don't have a final amount?

Friday, January 6, 2023 - 13:36

Do I Get Both The 8% Annual Increase For Waiting Until Age 70 To Claim My Benefits And The 8.7% COLA, Or Just The Higher Of The Two?

I reached full retirement age (66 4 months) in August of 2022. Trying to wait until 70 to claim due to delayed retirement benefit. Question is, do I get the guaranteed 8% and the just announced 8.7% COLA added to my benefit or just the higher of the two? No one, not even my financial advisor seems to 100% know the answer. Thank you!

Sunday, November 27, 2022 - 12:43

Can You Clarify Your Prior Explanation?

Hi - thank you kindly for the explanation. I am looking for a clarification, in your answer below, her own benefit would have grown to $1,980 at age 70, however, would she still be eligible to full $2,000 of what the deceased husband was collecting? Own benefit $1980 + excess widowed $20 = $2000. Thank you. This is in response to "How Does Social Security Calculate Combined Benefits For A Widow?" answered on 11/11/2022, thank you very much.

Friday, November 18, 2022 - 11:59

Can My Friend Start Drawing His Benefits Three Months Prior To Age 70 And Still Get His Full Age 70 Benefit Amount?

A friend of mine has just retired at age 69. He will turn 70 this coming March 14, 2023. He plans to start taking social security benefits at age 70 to get the maximum benefit. He has been told that he can start taking the benefits this January, three months before his 70th birthday and get the full age 70 benefit amount. Says he has friends that have done it. Is he correct?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 - 16:30

Are COLAs Reflected On My SS Statements?

I have planned to wait to take my Social Security benefits until I turned 70. I'll start taking benefits on 6/1/23, but I'm thinking I might accelerate that date to 12/1/22. I looked at my SS statement and if I take the amount projected in December my benefit would increase by $265 in January, due to the 8.7% COLA. If I wait until June the SSS statement change is just $79. Seems like I would be missing out on $186/mo.
I understand that starting at age 62 the SSA starts keeping track of COLAs for those that wait to take their benefits. Here are my questions.

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 15:56

What Are The Logistics For Calculating Susan's Benefit?

Hi - could you please help me with the following, Paul FRA 67, PIA $2,600/month, Susan FRA 67, PIA $1,000. They both intend on filing ASAP when eligible at age 62. The reductions are 30% for Paul, and some combination 30% for Susan for filing early on her own benefit and 35% for spousal Paul's. She would be eligible for $1,300 at her FRA. Reduction for Paul is straightforward, what are the logistics for calculating Susan's benefit? Thank you

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 18:04
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.