John was 66 last November when the government changed Social Security law primarily with respect to spousal benefits. John’s wife Jean was 64 at that point.
The new law grandfathered John and Jean to follow the file and suspend strategy under which John would file for his retirement benefit and suspend its collection. But, due to the new law, John would have to suspend before April 30, 2016. If he did so, Jean would then be able to collect just a spousal benefit between 66 (full retirement age) and 70, let her own retirement benefit grow by 8 percent a year from 66 through 70, and then start taking her own benefit at 70 when it had reached its highest possible value (32 percent higher, after inflation, than at 66). John, in turn, would wait till 70 to restart his retirement benefit.