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Filing strategies for maximizing Social Security benefits

The Social Security system is very complicated. There are so many rules that Minnesota residents might not know what strategy is best for them, or they might not know what options are available to them given their unique circumstances. For example, let's say a 64-year-old man is considering waiting until he is 70 before filing for Social Security. Meanwhile, his wife is disabled and collecting Social Security disability. Would this man's best strategy be to wait until he is 70 before filing?

According to one expert from Market Watch, this man's strategy makes sense if the man plans to live into his 80's and his retirement benefit is greater than his wife's disability benefit. However, what he might not realize is that his wife can collect spousal benefits off his Social Security before he reaches 70. At 66 years of age, however, if the man's wife is receiving her benefits, he can file a restricted application for spousal benefits and start receiving spousal benefits off her record. Meanwhile, his benefits will continue to accrue delayed credits until he files for them.

Minnesota residents can implement a lot of interesting strategies to maximize the amount of money they can receive in retirement benefits. These strategies are not always obvious and it may take an SSD benefits attorney who is well versed in social security law to assist the individual in determining the best strategies available to him or her. Fortunately, all it takes is a relatively painless meeting with an SSD benefits attorney to determine what filing strategies are right for a given individual.

Source: Market Watch, "Dealing with spouses when it comes to Social Security," Dan Moisand, May 16, 2016

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