6 of 10 Bizarre Things – Retirees Can Receive A Big Social Security Boost, Even After Claiming

//6 of 10 Bizarre Things – Retirees Can Receive A Big Social Security Boost, Even After Claiming

6 of 10 Bizarre Things – Retirees Can Receive A Big Social Security Boost, Even After Claiming

Number 6 In The 10 Bizarre Things About Social Security Series…

As of April 30, 2016, retirees are no longer able to use the Social Security strategy known as “File and Suspend.” Retirees and financial planners had used this strategy to help maximize their Social Security benefits.

While this strategy is unfortunately no longer available to future retirees, here’s something that is still available to anyone that most people are unaware of…

Basically, anybody can still suspend their benefits at their Full Retirement Age (age 66 for most current retirees).

This works for individuals who have already claimed their Social Security benefits, but are younger than age 70. Additionally, they must wait until their Full Retirement Age before suspending their benefits.

Why would someone who already claimed their benefits suspend them at their full retirement age?

If you claimed your Social Security as early as possible at age 62, you are destined to receive the smallest benefit possible for the rest of your life. If after a couple of years you regret your decision, you still have an opportunity to receive a much bigger benefit by suspending them.

At your Full Retirement Age, you can suspend your benefits and earn Delayed Retirement Credits. This means you will stop receiving your monthly benefit checks, but the size of your benefit will grow by 8% per year up until age 70.

You can un-suspend your benefits at any time between age 66 – 70, but if you wait until age 70 to resume receiving your benefit checks, the size of your benefit could easily be 40% – 50% higher due to the Delayed Retirement Credits.

Hardly anybody knows they can do this, but now you do! Here’s an example.


Lindy has a Full Retirement Age Benefit of $1,500 per month, but because she claimed her benefit at age 62, it is reduced to only $1,125. With an assumed annual COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) increase of 3%, Lindy’s monthly Social Security check gets a little bigger every year and grows to $1,229 when she is age 65.

She regrets her decision of claiming at age 62 and wishes her benefit was bigger. She decides to suspend her benefits at her Full Retirement Age of 66. Once she suspends her benefits at age 66, she will stop receiving monthly Social Security checks. This is illustrated in the table above, where you see $0s for her monthly Social Security income at ages 66–69.

During those four years between ages 66 and 69, Lindy’s suspended benefit will earn Delayed Retirement Credits and grow by 8% per year. At age 70, she can un-suspend her benefit and receive a monthly Social Security check of $1,881, which in-cludes four years of Delayed Retirement Credits and four years of Retroactive COLA Credits. Lindy will receive this larger benefit for the rest of her life.

The benefit Lindy receives at age 70 is now 53% bigger than her benefit at age 65, before she suspended it. It results in an additional $652 per month and $7,824 per year. With an assumed annual COLA increase of 3%, that benefit amount will continue to grow bigger and bigger for the rest of her life.

It is important to note that if Lindy suspended her benefits after April 30, 2016 and had a spouse who was receiving a Spousal Benefit, her spouse would stop receiving that monthly Spousal Benefit check until Lindy un-suspended her benefits at age 70. Lindy’s suspended benefit receives Delayed Retirement Credits and grows by 8% per year up to age 70, but the Spousal Benefit does not.

Both married spouses and single individuals can do this. Even if you claimed your benefits at your Full Retirement Age or later, if you are younger than age 70, you can still suspend your benefits and earn Delayed Retirement Credits.

Is this a strategy you would use? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Want a personalized Social Security claiming strategy? My Paid To Wait Social Security Calculator takes less than five minutes and makes claiming your benefits simple and easy!

By |2019-03-05T15:47:19+00:00January 18th, 2017|0 Comments

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