Got a call this week from a couple in Georgia that are both 67, still working, enjoy their jobs and were interested in getting a review of their Social Security benefits. Their plan was to wait until age 70 to maximize both their benefits. Is there anything we can do for them…..yes, yes and yes.
Unfortunately, because of their age and the fact they are both in Tier 2, (turned 62 by January 1, 2016) they should have called a year sooner. Joe’s benefit was $2875 at his full retirement age of 66. Ethel’s benefit was $1250 at her retirement age of 66. Yes, by waiting their benefits have increased by 8%, but they have lost a full year of benefits using the Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits.
Here is what they had planned:
1. By waiting until age 70, there will be no income stream between 66-70, which they are entitled to.
2. Their cumulative benefit through life expectancy (age 85 for Joe and 88 for Ethel) will be $1,123,155.
What could happen:
1. Ethel would begin her benefits in the amount of $1308 in July 2019.
2. Joe would file a Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits only in the amount of $625 beginning in July 2019.
3. Joe allows his benefit to continue to grow at 8% per year until age 70.
4. They have generated an income of $1933 per month until age 70.
5. They are both past Full Retirement Age, so they do not need to be concerned about the Earnings Limitations Rule.
6. Joe switches to his benefit at age 70 which has grown to $3,795; Ethel is now eligible for a Spousal Boost at age 69.6 to $1,438 per month.
7. Survivor Benefits have increased to $3,795 for the remaining spouse.
8. Cumulative benefits through life expectancy has grown to $1,154,738 a $31,583 increase over and above their plan.
Also, if interested, they could get six months of retroactive benefits because they were past full retirement age; this would reduce their lifetime benefits by that 6 months reduction. The check for the both of them would be approximately $11,598. This needs to be analyzed before asking for or taking because it is taxable, and the reduction might not be worth the additional income.
This is not the only option that is available, but one that needs to be recognized. Folks, you need to know what your options are. We like to see our clients about two years before consideration of retirement for this exact reason.
Pillars LLC is in the Corinth, MS area but service all 50 states. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of over 40 years. You may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, on their website at www.pillarsllc.com or call at 601-954-0699. KNOW before you GO!!