In a MarketWatch article this week, Landis talks about another seminar he did. The seminar went well and everyone left except the attorney who had brought him in. In the article, Landis writes about how he advised the attorney and her husband about how they can claim even higher Social Security payments if instead one of them claims Spousal benefits after the other files and suspends.
If you’re married (or divorced or widowed) you really owe it to yourself to spend some time investigating your options. A white paper put out by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates that 83 percent of married couples can benefit from strategies involving file and suspend once the couple reached full retirement age. There are certainly more options than most people think and you can’t count on your local Social Security employee to have a handle on all of them. One very useful resource is Landis’ book “Social Security, The Inside Story” or his website andylandis.biz. There are of course other options. Julie Price with AgingOptions uses a software program created by another Social Security guru, Larry Kotlikoff, who writes a weekly Social Security article for PBS.
If you’re not sure there’s anything worth looking at for you, I suggest one of my white papers on Social Security. You can request one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and just let Saket know if you are married, divorced or widowed so I can send the right one. You’ll notice I don’t mention single and that’s because Social Security options for single individuals are pretty much limited to file early, file at full retirement or file at 70. Still, you can use a file and suspend strategy that will allow you to get a lump sum payment at some future time if you wait until at least full retirement before filing so all is not lost.
Regardless of which strategy you use, claiming Social Security shouldn’t be a “no-brainer” for anyone. There are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars left on the table if you do it incorrectly. Take the time and invest some resources in making sure that you are not one of those people. You can contact Julie Price by calling 1-877-76-AGING.