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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jul 23, 2014.

Question

dear staff at 360 degrees of Financial Literacy;
First, I wish to let you know that I feel very blessed to find your website. And, thank you so much for your reply. My questions:
I am a homemaker (no children). Now I am in my 50s and I only live on my husband income. My questions :
1/I heard after a wife reaches age 62, I can get approximately less than half of my husband SSI based on some calculation by SSA ? Is this right ?
2/ We are resident of California and my husband have paid California state tax, as well as has his deferred tax income account in his 401K. We plan to leave California for Nevada when he stop working at age 62. Will he get SSI from state of California as we are California residents for over 20 yrs and he paid tax for California, even after we move out of California and buy a home in Nevada for our retirement there ?
3/ Regarding SSI from Federal tax we paid and 401k distribution. After we leave California, can we get 401k during his working life contribution to it ? do we have to pay California tax even we stay in Nevada for our retirement. We plan to move to Nevada as soon as he retire.
Thank you very much for your kind reply
Cathy

Answer

Dear Cathy,

Based on your representation that your husband is employed and has a 401(k), presumably your questions refer to Social Security Income versus SSI income, which is intended for low income and disabled recipients.  In order to collect a spousal Social Security benefit, based on your husband's earnings record, your husband must file for his own Social Security first.  He can file for his SS benefits as early as age 62, which will result in a much discounted Social Security benefit as compared to the benefit he would receive if he waited to receive Social Security at his full retirement age.  The Social Security is paid from the Federal versus the state government.  Your husband's Human Resources department will be able to help you complete the paperwork to begin distributions at age 62 from his 401(k) plan.

In the meantime, you would be well served to contact a local CPA/PFS to help you plan for retirement.


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