As noted earlier in example 1, the primary purpose of the file-and-suspend strategy is for married couples to better coordinate the claiming of individual and spousal benefits - in particular, for one member of the couple to claim spousal benefits, while the other person continues to defer individual retirement benefits to accrue delayed retirement credits. Otherwise, both members of the couple could face benefit delays even if just one of them was trying to delay.
Continuing example 1, if Jim had chosen to just outright delay benefits, without going through the file-and-suspend strategy, not only would he have waited on his retirement benefits until age 70, but Betty would have been forced to wait until age 70 as well. This is true because the standard rules for spousal benefits state that Betty is not eligible for spousal benefits based on Jim's earnings until Jim has filed for benefits.
Notably, file-and-suspend may be relevant even in situations where both spouses have their own benefits, but each wishes to delay and wait on their benefits. See our next blog post.