Ask Larry

File and Suspend

Is It True That If You File And Suspend You Can Later Unsuspend And Receive Back Pay?

Hi Larry. I read that even after the changes made to Social Security in 2016, those who want to delay starting their Social Security until age 70 in order to get the delayed retirement bonus should still file and suspend. The reason is to protect your eligibility for back benefits if your circumstances change before you reach age 70. For example, if serious health issues afflict you in your late 60s, you might decide it is no longer worth delaying your Social Security until age 70.

Thursday, December 30, 2021 - 10:06

When Will I Be Able To File And Suspend?

Hi Larry, bought a subscription to your software. Been reading your column for years. My wife is 11 years older than I and is already retired (FRA), she is now 68. She's drawing $1314/mo. I've maxed out SS for 27 years and will do so until I retire. I *thought* I could file/suspend at 62 and she would then get a nice bump with spousal benefits, but your software says I can't file/suspend until I reach FRA, which is a bummer because she will have to wait longer and will be 81. Don't get me wrong, I'll take it, but can you confirm when I will able to file/suspend?

Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 18:05

Would There Be Any Advantage To My Filing For And Suspending Benefits?

Hi, Larry I was born in 1955 and will reach my full retirement age in April of 2021 (66 and 2 months). I am single, never married and have no dependents. Is there any advantage to my filing for (applying) AND suspending benefits 3 months before I reach my F.R.A.? I have read that if I want to wait longer than my F.R.A. (up to age 70) to actually receive benefits in order to increase the monthly amount, a strategy of file and suspend would allow me to receive suspended benefits owed to me starting at my F.R.A.

Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 10:11

Thank You.

No question, just a "thank you"!

Your advice from 2012, to "File and Suspend" was the best financial information that I have ever received!

When I turned 70-years-old in 2016, the difference in monthly check was about 25%. In addition, I have continued to work full time at my career-high salary, so I receive an increase in my monthly check amount each year.

I have an appropriate Income Tax amount withheld from each month's check and the remainder just goes into a savings account.

Again, thank you!


Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:06

How Can I Start Up My Benefits?

In March 2016, when I was 66, I filed and suspended my Social Security benefits. I am now 70 and am trying to activate them. My local SS office seems to say that I have to go through the whole filing process again. I had hoped that there would be a way they could simply "flip a switch" administratively to start my payments. Isn't there an abbreviated way to start payments, since I already filed in 2016? If so, can I do it online, or must I go in to the local SS office? [Online would help, since there is a backlog for appointments at the local office.] Thank you.

Monday, July 29, 2019 - 14:34

Is What Social Security Told Us Correct?

I was born in 1952 and my wife was born in June of 1954. We tried to do a restricted application at the SS office this winter and were told yes we could do this but my wife had to file for her benefits in order to go forward. File and suspend was no longer an option supposedly this option expired in 2016? Sorry if this is redundant.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 10:54

Was The File And Suspend Rule Abolished?

Hi. I read the updated edition of Get What's Yours before Christmas and I confess that I may not have retained some information that I need. I am confused about the "File and Suspend" rule. Was it abolished by the most recent Obama era legislation, or can I still claim it when I turn 66 on October 27, 2019? I was born on 10/27/53 and am single -- never married. No dependents.


Hi A,

Monday, December 31, 2018 - 16:24

Can You Help Me Understand The File And Suspend Rule?

Current age: 651/2
Spouse: Deceased

I wanted to take advantage of the file and suspend rule:

I wanted to claim my ex-husband's benefits and freeze my benefits until a later time. However the social security agent told me that I could not do it because my spouse's amount was smaller so I could not file and suspend.

I thought that I could collect his at the lower rate until I was ready to claim mine.

Can you you help me understand.


Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 07:16

Is There Any Reason Why I Should Register For My Benefits And Suspend Them Before Age 70?

I am employed full time and turning 69 in September. I have not registered for Social Security and don't intend to start collecting until age 70. Is there any reason why I should register and suspend before then?


Not unless you have some special reason to do so. You'll receive the same amount of delayed retirement credits (DRC) whether you file for and suspend your benefits until age 70, or if you simply wait until age 70 to apply.

Best, Jerry

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 10:23
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.
$40 Annual Household License
$299 Annual Financial Advisor License