So…it is always about money. With the end of the spousal benefit for those 62 and younger , delaying social security benefits may have to change for some people’s budgets. Plans may have to change. If you never been enticed by a postcard promising free lunch/dinner and ways to gain $50000 more in social security you may not know what I mean.
Part of staying independent is of course is managing to live on your finances and keep to a budget. As of this November 2015 Congress has chosen to take away the option for the usually younger spouse – wife -to collect half of his/hers partner’s Social Security if they have reached age 66 and the partner is already collecting. This allows the spouse/partner to suspend starting their own benefit and build it up ( gaining 8% a year) to a maximum benefit amount at age 70. They are also ending the ability of the older spouse to file and suspend their benefits so theirs grows while other spouse still collects.
I knew they would catch up with the – yes – there are double income couples. Yes- many of us earned good salaries. But this extra boost to our budgets for those turning age 62 by January 2, 2016 is now gone. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2016. Many a tag line to entice people to annuity selling lunch/ dinner seminars will not work. This spousal benefit was originally set up to give more income to those women/partners who stayed at home and the current congress considers it a loophole.
Please be clear those partners with lower earning histories can still collect half of the spouse’s as a permanent benefit instead of their own lower earnings, But higher earning spouse will have to take own full social security at age 66 etc if they want to collect before age 70.
For some it will be gone before they realize what they could have had it. But realize you only gain that $50,000 as the half benefit drawing spouse if you live to 85 to break even for what you could have had anyway.
And yes I actually just started collecting the half benefit, and i am hoping to wait until 70 to draw a larger benefit. I still look at this as a bonus, not a right-a bonus have to earn by staying alive past 85.
This of course is less important than the question of who soon to start your social security. For some waiting is not the better option but look at the payback tables. There is a website with charts and graphs by David Fromme a retired IRS analyst.