Maximizing Social Security Benefits: The Voluntary Suspension Strategy


Voluntary Suspension Video Brief

In his latest episode of Retire Ready TV, Chris Heerlein of REAP Financial, financial advisors in Austin and Georgetown, Texas, introduces a relatively unknown but powerful Social Security claiming strategy known as Voluntary Suspension. This strategy, particularly relevant since the elimination of the file-and-suspend and restricted application strategies in April 2016, allows individuals to optimize their Social Security benefits. Heerlein explains that Voluntary Suspension permits a person to start receiving Social Security benefits early, then suspend these benefits at full retirement age without the obligation to repay the amounts already received. This approach can be particularly beneficial for married couples, where one spouse starts receiving reduced benefits early, and the other defers theirs.

Heerlein further clarifies that upon reaching full retirement age, the spouse who initially received benefits can suspend them, allowing their benefits to grow by 8% per year until age 70. This growth helps to recoup the financial impact of taking reduced benefits early. The other spouse, in the meantime, can begin receiving their larger benefit. This strategy not only provides a steady income stream during early retirement years but also ensures a higher benefit payout later, maximizing the total Social Security benefits received over a lifetime. Heerlein encourages viewers to learn more about this strategy and how it can be applied to their specific situation by accessing the updated 2021 report titled “The Social Security Decision,” available through Reap Financial. Email us at for your report.

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