If you were born before 1954, a little-known Social Security law could earn you and your spouse thousands of extra dollars in retirement. But according to financial planner Darcy Bergen of Peoria, Arizona, you must act soon, or you could miss the chance to benefit from this strategy.
Darcy Bergen is a fiduciary who has two decades of financial planning experience in the Phoenix area, with an office north of downtown in Peoria, Arizona.
Get Extra Social Security Benefits While You Can
It’s all perfectly legal. Although the government is phasing out the “Restricted Application” program at the end of 2019, most people with a spouse who reach the government’s full retirement age of 66 by Dec. 31 are eligible to apply for a Restricted Application before the end of the year. Once the calendar flips to 2020, it will be too late.
Once approved, a Restricted Application allows the applicant to collect half a spouse’s full retirement age Social Security benefit without actually opening his or her own Social Security record. It’s complicated, but an older spouse could earn an 8 percent delayed credit on his or her own full retirement age benefit up until age 70. At age 70, the applicant could begin taking his or her own benefit, while realizing a 32 percent increase over the four-year period, Darcy Bergen explains.
The Restricted Application was eliminated in a 2015 bipartisan budget act, so unless you act now, you will lose the opportunity to take advantage of this phased-out government program.
How to File a Restricted Application
If you were born in 1953 or earlier and are considering filing a Restricted Application, there are four additional items of importance to be aware of:
- Your spouse must have already opened his or her own record and started claiming Social Security benefits.
- You must be at full retirement age (born on or before Jan. 1, 1954)
- This strategy is also available if you are divorced. Your marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and you cannot have remarried.
- You should consider speaking to a fiduciary about maximizing your retirement benefits if you will be filing a Restricted Application – before you file your Restricted Application.
If you meet the age criteria, it is imperative that you obtain full knowledge about this lucrative opportunity and learn what your options are to make your retirement more comfortable. Darcy Bergen can tailor a plan specific to your needs and help you from missing out on your maximum retirement benefits.
Since 2003, Darcy Bergen and his staff at Bergen Financial in Peoria, Arizona have helped clients find additional income for their households by planning properly and knowing their options.
Contact Darcy Bergen at Bergen Financial by calling 602-652-2665 to set up an appointment.