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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Mar 4, 2012.

Question

I am 62, never married and considering taking early social security on my work record. I understand it will be a reduced amount.
I am concerned about the impact on my future if I take early withdrawal.
If I meet "Prince Charming" and get married after we are both 66 years old and he starts social security at age 66 ---will I be able to switch over to the new husband''s account as his spouse and receive 1/2 of his full benefit amount or will I always be penalized for taking early withdrawal?
Example:
For me at age 62 my social security would be $400 and at age 66 it would be $500.
possible new husband would receive $2000 at age 66. Would I receive $1000 which is half of his?

Appreciate the help

Answer

First, you can see the difference in your benefits by collecting at age 62 vs age 66, an additional 25% if you can wait. That''s a considerable difference and would recommend that you defer benefits if you can.

Since you started taking your benefits early at a discounted amount, switching to a spousal benefit will reduce that benefit. If you decide to receive a reduced benefit prior to full retirement age, you are not entitled to receive a full spouse''s benefit rate upon reaching full retirement age. A reduced benefit rate is payable. So you would not be eligible to receive the full $1000 as noted above.  


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