I am age 65 (DOB 10/01/1950) and my wife is 63 (DOB 10/23/1952). Prior to the November 2 changes to the Social Security law, our preferred plan had been for my wife to claim her benefit in June 2016, followed by my restricted filing in September 2016 (my full retirement age) for a spousal benefit. This would allow my own benefit to grow for 4 years until I claim it at age 70. Under the new law, my understanding is that this strategy is still viable for us since we are grandfathered because of our
However, the Nov. 16 article "Social Security: Do you need to change your filing strategy?" on Vanguard.com adds this wrinkle:within 180 days of the law's enactment."
"If you're already 62 or are turning 62 this year, you'll still be able to file a restricted application to receive only spousal benefits at your full retirement age, provided your spouse is either receiving or has filed for and suspended benefits
Does this mean that my wife cannot wait until June to file, but must claim prior to May 2016 (180 days from Nov. 2, 2015) in order for me to to be allowed to file for my restricted spousal benefit at age 66? (If so, my ability to claim the spousalbenefit is well worth the small reduction in my wife's monthly payout if she has to file a couple of months earlier than planned. I just don't want to risk missing an important deadline!)
David, thank you for responding.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding, but it seems to me that your answer supposes the reverse of what I am planning. To reiterate, we'd like to:
1) Have my WIFE file, at age 63, for her own REGULAR Social Security benefit sometime prior to September 2016.
2) Have ME file, at age 66, for my restricted SPOUSAL benefit in September 2016.
3) Have ME file, at age 70, for my own REGULAR benefit in September 2020.
(Note that we are NOT consider any scenario involving filing and suspending.)
My question is simply whether it's OK for my wife to claim her regular benefit as late as August 2016, or instead MUST she claim by April 2016 (i.e., within 180 days from Nov. 2, 2015) for this plan to work?
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