Is There Any Reason To File And Suspend At FRA Instead Of Waiting Until Age 70 To File?

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Dec 14 2017 - 4:12pm

Hi Larry,

I have read your very informative book but still have one question. I am turning 66, was married less than 10 years, and have no dependents. I have the resources to delay taking my SS benefits until I turn age 70. Is there any financial or other advantage to doing that over filing and suspending at age 66? Conversely, is there an advantage or benefit conferred by filing and suspending at age 66 over filing at age 70? I understand about the effect on Medicare payments.

Hi,

In your case, the only meaningful difference between filing for and suspending benefits at full retirement age (FRA) vs. simply waiting until age 70 to apply is the potential effect it would have on your ability to change your mind and start drawing benefits sooner. If you file and suspend, the earliest that you could start drawing your benefits is the month after the month of your request for reinstatement. On the other hand if you simply wait to file, you would have the option of claiming up to 6 months of retroactive benefits when you do eventually file an application.

There are other potential disadvantages to filing for and suspending your benefits at FRA, but those wouldn't affect you since it sounds like you couldn't qualify for benefits on anyone else's record. Prior to April 30 2016 there were circumstances in which it was advantageous to file for and suspend benefits, but the 2015 amendments changed all of that (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/suspendfaq.html).

Best, Jerry