Broker Check

Social Security - Consider the Options

February 12, 2014

Understanding your options for claiming social security can be a daunting task, sometimes with surprising results. I recently met with a long time friend and client to review her situation. 

She is single, turning 66 this year, and has an excellent work history. I knew that she had been married previously for more than ten years. I explained to her the options available to her, including: 

  •  File now and receive her primary insurance amount (PIA) 
  • Wait until age 70 receive a benefit with the 8% per year deferred retirement credit 
  • File and Suspend, receive a spousal benefit now, while waiting to receive her benefit until age 70.

From the projections we did it was clear to both of us that the “File and Suspend” strategy would be most favorable……..just one catch! 

As she was about to leave, she said “What about my other ex-husband?” It turns out that she also had been married to him for more than ten years. Ex #2 was and is an oral surgeon and ex #1 had a spotty work history, with no substantial earnings. In this case, she is eligible for benefits based on either ex-husband, whichever is best for her!

Author: Jack McKenna, CFP®, CPA