To maximize retirement benefits, the primary earner would file and suspend their benefit, while the non-income earning spouse would claim spousal benefits. The primary earner would then begin receiving their benefit at age 70, resulting in a 32% increase in benefits by deferring to the maximum age.
RESULT: Non-income earning spouse receives $1,331.50 monthly starting at age 66 while income earning spouse receives $3,515.16 starting at age 70.
The primary earner can still suspend their benefit, but the non-income earning spouse will no longer be able to receive spousal benefits until the income earner begins receiving benefits. Based on the description above, the $1,331.50 monthly benefit would not start until age 70. Remember, spousal benefits do not increase beyond FRA. The household’s social security income is reduced by a total of $63,912 between the ages of 66 and 70.
RESULT: The breakeven age on total dollars received from a file and suspend strategy vs. simply claiming at FRA is pushed back approximately 6 years from age 81/82 to age 87/88. Assuming 0% discount rate.