Monday, October 13, 2014

Real-life Question about Social Security Benefits

Real-life question about Social Security benefits

The following question was submitted through the "Ask Your Question" portal of our website,

Dear Mr. Asare:

I’ll be turning 66 in three months and my wife will do the same in seven months. We both have good-paying jobs that we love, so we are postponing our retirements until we’re each 70 years old. Social Security tells us that I can collect $1,900 now or $2,500 when I’m 70. My wife’s estimates are $1,500 now or $1,900+ at age 70. I’m not sure if there’s anything else to this, but our good friends [names redacted to protect their anonymity] suggested we seek your advice, so we’ll appreciate your thoughts.


John & Carol [last name withheld]
Hello, John and Carol –

First of all I’d like to wish you each a happy 66th birthday. It’s good to know that you both feel healthy, happy, and have careers that you enjoy – hence your decisions to delay retirement until age 70. I think it calls for a great big birthday bash!

Specifically regarding your Social Security, based on the general information you’ve provided, I see an opportunity for you and Carol to begin collecting approximately $950/month (which comes out to $11,400/year) for the next four years as you wait to reach age 70, for a cumulative total of $45,600.

No I’m not kidding! Actually, I don’t think that’s even the best part of the story, because you’ll be delighted to know that collecting this $950/month will not reduce either your or Carol’s future benefit amounts, the ones you’re expecting at age 70. You’ll still get to collect your $2,500 and Carol her $1,900+. Basically, this $950/month is a complete bonus, so to speak. However, if you fail to collect it, it will not increase either your or Carol’s future benefit amounts.

It may sound strange, but it’s true and a perfectly legitimate benefit under Social Security rules. I explain this claiming strategy in great detail on page 11 of my Social Security strategies special report, which you may download for free at

Here’s the gist: Upon reaching your full retirement age of 66, you will need to file an application with Social Security, but immediately – and simultaneously – turn around and suspend it so that you won’t actually collect checks. That will open the way for Carol to submit a restricted application for “spousal benefits only,” based on your record, so that she can begin collecting one-half of the $1,900 that you would have collected now (which is about $950/month).

Because your application is “suspended” you’ll still continue to accrue your annual 8 percent increases through age 70. And since Carol will be collecting only her “spousal benefits” – and not her own retirement benefits – she, too, will continue to accrue the full 8 percent yearly increases. Long story short, you and Carol will still get to collect $2,500 and $1,900, respectively, at age 70. This strategy will simply bring in another $11,400 a year, beginning right now for the next 4 years. I’m pretty sure that you and Carol don’t mind collecting a $950/month bonus, for lack of a better word, from of all the people on this planet, Uncle Sam!

Now here’s an extremely important caveat: Choosing this option requires that you give very specific and detailed instructions/requests when you visit your local Social Security office, and you want that to go smoothly. I strongly recommend that you schedule a time to come and meet us or talk with us on the phone so that we can break down the process for you. You can schedule this appointment through our website or call us at 877.656.9111.

My warmest regards to you both.


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