Originally Posted by agentinsouth
Can someone dumb this down to a 3rd grade level for me?
I suggest getting a book like "Medicare for Dummies". It's a great reference. I pulled these explanations of the two strategies from the Google:
This one expired 4/1/16, now no one can do this:
"Q. Can you use a marital strategy to maximize lifetime benefits for your household?
A. Married couples may have options that singles don’t. For example, when the breadwinner reaches 66 (or 67, if born in 1960 or later), he or she can file for benefits but suspend claiming them. This allows a spouse who is 62 or older to claim a spousal benefit, while the breadwinner’s unclaimed benefit grows significantly." This one is history as of 4/1/16, repeat.
The next one is still available, but only for those who turned age 62 by 1/1/2016:
"A related strategy known as "Restricted Application" remains possible for certain people, born before 1/1/1954.
Q. How does that work?
A. Like this: Your full-retirement-age spouse applies for retirement benefits and begins collecting. You apply for just the spousal benefit (you "restrict" your application to just that benefit) based on your spouse's work record, even though you could get a higher amount as your own retirement benefit. Going forward, you collect that benefit and continue to build up Delayed Retirement Credits that will make your retirement benefit higher when you eventually switch over to it."
Most would use that strategy 4 years, from age 66 to 70, as their own SS benefits will increase by 8% a year during those 4 years. They plan to refile on their own record at age 70.