If you turned 62 after December 31, 2015 you are grandfathered in under the 2015 Omnibus Budget Act and retain the ability to file a “Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits.” This benefit is not as advantageous as it once was, but using it properly will generate more lifetime income for you and your spouse.
In this case John was born May 1, 1953 which qualifies him for the grandfathered provision. His wife Beth was born June 1, 1955 and she is not eligible. Under the old rules John would file and suspend and Beth would file the restricted application for Spousal Benefits Only. Under the new rules, since only John is eligible, Beth files for her benefits when John is full retirement age.
Although she receives a lower benefit, the combination of him getting half of her benefit and letting his benefit continue to accumulate delayed retirement benefits gives them a much greater lifetime benefit. Since her survivor benefit is based on his benefit, she also benefits from this strategy. Click here to view the complete analysis and strategy.
The bottom line is they receive $299,575 more over their lifetime and she receives $1673 more a month for the rest of her life as a survivor. That is a win/win for both of them.