2019 is the last year that a married person achieving full retirement age can file a restricted application. This Social Security – maximizing strategy, commonly called Claim Now, Claim More Later, is available to those born before January 2, 1954.
The strategy works as follows: The higher-earning spouse (who must have already reached full retirement age for social security, 66), files for benefits and defers his/her own Social Security, opting to collect only spousal benefits. This allows the higher-earning spouse’s benefits to continue to increase. Then later, usually at age 70, the higher- earning spouse claims his/her own benefits. The other spouse must already be receiving benefits. The surviving spouse can retain the higher benefit when the first spouse passes away.
An article in Kiplingers notes that if you try to file a restricted application, you may run into difficulty because some Social Security personnel may not be aware of the strategy, or think it no longer exits. Ask for a supervisor, the article advises. You can read the full article in Kiplingers here.