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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Feb 22, 2016.

Question

Regarding SS, I am at 66 in 6 months. My spouse is aged 58. Can I file and restrict my benefits, then file for spousal benefits until I reach age 70? Or what is the better strategy at this point with my spouse being at a little lower earnings level ?

Answer

For you to be eligible for a spousal benefit, your spouse must already be receiving social security benefits.  At age 58, he/she is not yet eligible for social security. 

Depending on your cash needs, you may want to consider waiting until age 70 to claim your benefits.  Delaying retirement until 70 would give you 132% of the benefit you would receive at age 66.   However, you need to take your overall financial situation into account in determining when is the best time to begin receiving social security benefits.

Your spouse can file as early as age 62 and if the spousal benefit on your record is higher, he/she would receive that amount.  If claimed before full retirement age, the benefits are reduced.  The maximum spousal benefit your spouse could receive at full retirement age would be 50% of your full retirement amount.  Delaying your retirement will not increase the spousal benefit.

 


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