Big Changes to Social Security Incoming!

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 that was signed into law on 11/2/2015 will be eliminating the ‘file and suspend’ strategy many people are planning to use to maximize Social Security benefits. Basically, the spouse with the higher earnings record files for benefits at full retirement age and then suspends those benefits (usually until age 70). This allows the lower earning spouse to claim the 50% spousal benefit during that time. This option will no longer be available for claims filed after 4/30/2016.

Another popular claiming method referred to as the “restricted application method” allows a spouse who reaches full retirement age to restrict their benefits to the 50% spousal benefit only. Doing this allows them to defer their own benefit until they reach the maximum benefit at age 70 and then switch to that. For those who turn 62 after 2015, this technique will also disappear.

I suggest you find and contact your local Social Security office using this link if you think these changes might affect you:

If you are curious about how maximize your Social Security claiming strategy, then please contact me to discuss further as I have access to software tools to calculate it!