A common strategy to maximize your benefits is through Restricted Application.
Let’s assume you are at your FRA and you have a higher social security benefit than your spouse.
Your spouse can restrict their application, claim spousal and receive a partial benefit while their own benefit grows.
The key here is you both need to be at your full retirement age, one of you must have a higher benefit, and you must be born on or before January 1, 1954.
Let’s take a look at an example, we have a married couple both at their full retirement ages of 66.
Mona has the higher benefit collecting $2,000 of monthly income. Rob has the lower benefit of $1,500. However, they want it to continue to grow.
Rob restricts his own application, claims spousal benefits receiving $1,000 of monthly income. This allows his own primary benefit to grow by 8%.
When Rob turns 70, he will claim his own benefits collecting $1,980 a month which is approximately $500 more than what he originally would have received.