Need Help Social Security Question

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Need Help Social Security Question

Postby antiqueman » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:41 am

I am trying to determine the best way for my wife and me to take Social Security.


I am three years and 2 months older than my wife. I plan to wait until 70 to take my own social security benefits.

I have a couple of questions. They are as follows:


(1). I will be 65 and 2 months when my wife turns 62. Under the 'restricted" filing ( or some other theroy) can I obtain any benefit from my wifes benefits at 65 since I have not reached 66? If not, can I claim a spousal benefit on her benefits when I reach 66?


(2) If my wife takes her benefits at 62, once I turn 70 can she then change to spousal benefit on my benefits if it is more at the time. Does the fact that she took benefits at 62 preclude her from recieving a higher spousal benefit 8 years later?

(3) Does anyone have any advice on how to maximize our benefits given our 3 year difference in ages, other than what I have stated above?

Thank you.
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Re: Need Help Social Security Question

Postby ObliviousInvestor » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:51 am

antiqueman wrote:(1). I will be 65 and 2 months when my wife turns 62. Under the 'restricted" filing ( or some other theroy) can I obtain any benefit from my wifes benefits at 65 since I have not reached 66?

You cannot do a restricted filing prior to full retirement age. So if at age 65 (with an FRA of 66) you filed for a spousal benefit based on your wife's work record, you would automatically be considered to have filed for your own retirement benefit as well.

antiqueman wrote:If not, can I claim a spousal benefit on her benefits when I reach 66?

If she has already filed for her own retirement benefit at that point, you could file for your benefit as her spouse, and (because you have reached FRA) you could do it as a restricted application.

antiqueman wrote:(2) If my wife takes her benefits at 62, once I turn 70 can she then change to spousal benefit on my benefits if it is more at the time. Does the fact that she took benefits at 62 preclude her from recieving a higher spousal benefit 8 years later?

Yes, she can claim a spousal benefit at that point. But, yes, the total amount she receives will be reduced as a result of her claiming her own retirement benefit at 62.

antiqueman wrote:(3) Does anyone have any advice on how to maximize our benefits given our 3 year difference in ages, other than what I have stated above?

What are your respective primary insurance amounts (PIAs)?
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Re: Need Help Social Security Question

Postby dickenjb » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:23 pm

I am three years older than my wife. My PIA is significantly larger (almost 50% larger) than hers.

For us, the best strategy is:

She files for her own reduced benefit at 62

I file a restricted app for spousal only at my FRA

I file for my benefit at age 70.

YMMV depending on PIA's and your personal insight into your respective life expectancies
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Re: Need Help Social Security Question

Postby gerntz » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:50 pm

antiqueman wrote:I am trying to determine the best way for my wife and me to take Social Security.


I am three years and 2 months older than my wife. I plan to wait until 70 to take my own social security benefits.

I have a couple of questions. They are as follows:


(1). I will be 65 and 2 months when my wife turns 62. Under the 'restricted" filing ( or some other theroy) can I obtain any benefit from my wifes benefits at 65 since I have not reached 66? If not, can I claim a spousal benefit on her benefits when I reach 66?


(2) If my wife takes her benefits at 62, once I turn 70 can she then change to spousal benefit on my benefits if it is more at the time. Does the fact that she took benefits at 62 preclude her from recieving a higher spousal benefit 8 years later?

(3) Does anyone have any advice on how to maximize our benefits given our 3 year difference in ages, other than what I have stated above?

Thank you.

Spousal benefit does not increase for the spouse after he/she reaches FRA - assuning that's 66. So your 8 year comment is irrelevant after she reaches 66.

You don't mention who is & will be working. Best choice is likely impacted by that.
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