Mary Ellen had just left the Social Security office after waiting for 90 minutes, “We went into the Social Security office and they told us that my husband, who is now 66 could not suspend his benefits since he had already claimed at age 62.”
I asked her, “Did you ask to speak with a supervisor?”
“Yes.” I could hear her frustration. “The supervisor told us the same thing!”
“What was their reason for not allowing him to suspend? The law clearly states that he can suspend now that he is 66.” This was not the first time this happened.
“They said we just could not do it.”
“Go back there and ask them for a written reason WHY they are denying him what is rightfully his.” I shook my head.
Mary Ellen got back to me the next day. “Thank you so much for your help! After 2 1/2 hours on the phone I was finally able to convince the Social Security people that Bob was eligible to suspend his benefits.”
“It just baffles me that they would give you wrong information”
“I know, me too…you wouldn’t believe how persistent I had to be!”
So how does this add up to potentially over $100,000 in additional lifetime Social Security benefits?
As you may have heard, the Bipartisan Budget Act is removing two Social Security claiming strategies. If you will be 66 by May 1st, you still have the ability to suspend your benefits, or file and suspend your benefits while your spouse collects spousal benefits.
If Bob did not suspend his benefits, the couple would have a potential lifetime cumulative benefit amount of $970,818 considering a lifespan of 95 years (they both have longevity in their families and don’t smoke).
Where does the extra money come from? Now Bob has suspended his benefits, his benefit will increase by 8% each year until age 70. Also, Mary Ellen, because she is over 62 she can restrict her application to spousal benefits, which is 1/2 of Bob’s primary insurance amount (if she was under 62, the new laws make it so she can not restrict her application). If Mary Ellen restricts her application to spousal benefits, she allows her benefits to grow by 8% per year until she is 70. At that point she can receive her own, larger benefit.
This new strategy has a potential lifetime cumulative benefit amount of $1,071,629,
So for about 7 hours of their time, including the learning event, the first and second meetings with me, and their time at the Social Security office and on the phone, they “made” potentially over $100,000.
Not so bad.
It’s good to be informed.
If you are reading this and it is before April 28th, it’s possible you still have time to claim what is due you.
This may apply to you if you are:
One of you is over 62 as of January 2016