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How to Stop and Restart Social Security Benefits Effectively



How to Stop and Restart Social Security Benefits Effectively

How to Stop and Restart Social Security Benefits Effectively, Many seniors find relief in discovering the flexibility to start, stop, and restart their Social Security benefits. Despite prior research on the basics of Social Security claims, circumstances may prompt a reconsideration of your choices.

Determining When to Stop and Restart Social Security

The decision to stop or restart Social Security benefits is highly individual, with no universal rules. Various nuanced factors, such as the time since initiating benefits or changes in family situations, come into play. It’s crucial to explore the available choices and understand their financial implications.

Considering the Reasons to Stop Social Security

Stopping Social Security benefits is a decision influenced by various factors. Claiming benefits before reaching full retirement age results in reduced monthly payments. Many individuals choose to stop benefits temporarily, aiming to restart at an older age and receive higher monthly payments.

Addressing Financial Considerations and Regrets

While some retirees lack financial resources and must start claiming benefits as soon as eligible, others may regret starting benefits early. Financially secure seniors or those realizing a mistake in their early decision have options to change course. However, flexibility comes with essential rules and implications that require careful consideration.

Withdrawing Social Security Benefits: A Reset Option

Filing for a withdrawal of Social Security benefits within the first 12 months allows a reset, as if benefits were never initiated. This process, involving Form SSA-521, requires repaying all benefits received, including amounts paid to spouses or other beneficiaries. A 60-day window exists for reconsideration and withdrawal after filing the form.

Suspending Social Security Benefits for Delayed Retirement Credits

Suspending benefits after 12 months requires waiting until full retirement age (FRA). This age varies, with those born after 1960 having an FRA of 67. Suspending benefits after FRA accrues delayed retirement credits, increasing the monthly benefit. The process can be initiated through phone, written request, or by visiting the local SSA office.

Considering Various Factors and the Bottom Line

Before making decisions regarding Social Security benefits, factors such as expected longevity, nest egg size, and Medicare Part B premiums must be considered. While the decision is personal, seeking advice from tax experts or advisors is recommended. Additionally, the impact of suspending benefits on Medicare premiums should be taken into account.


In navigating the complexities of Social Security benefits, thoughtful consideration of personal circumstances is paramount. Whether stopping, restarting, or suspending benefits, understanding the implications ensures informed decisions, empowering individuals to secure their financial well-being in retirement.

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