Articles for Financial Advisors

Social Security: Claim and Suspend Benefits


Social Security: Claim and Suspend Benefits

Each day, 182,000 people visit a Social Security office. One strategy considered by married couples is “claim and suspend.” The strategy is to have both working spouses wait until age 70 to collect the maximum benefit. Every year, the benefit is delayed after “normal retirement age” (NRA), which means an 8% annual increase in benefits (note: NRA is between age 65–67, depending upon the worker’s date of birth). Here is how the strategy works:

[1] 1st spouse reaches NRA, files for benefits, and immediately suspends them
[2] 2nd spouse can now apply and receive half of the spousal benefits
[3] You cannot “double up” on this strategy (both cannot receive spousal benefits)
[4] 1st spouse starts to receive benefits (the maximum) at age 70 (or younger)
[5] 2nd spouse receives maximum benefits (his/her own work record) at age 70

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