SS Question

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Topic Author
Prudence
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SS Question

Post by Prudence »

Suppose wife is receiving SS under her's and husband is receiving SS as her spouse. When husband turns 70, he begins to receive SS as self and not as spouse. The wife's benefit as self is less than half of the husband's (under his at age 70). Must the wife continue to receive her benefit under her's, or can she file as a spouse and begin receiving half of husband's (his age 70 benefit)? Is there a rule to cover this in SS regs?
123
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Re: SS Question

Post by 123 »

If the husband gets his benefit at age 70 his monthly benefit will include an increase due to the delayed retirement credits (8% a year). The increase in his benefit due to the delayed retirement credits will not impact the benefit payable to a wife. An increase in the spouse's SSA amount could be possible if the husband's primary insurance amount (PIA) is more than twice the wife's PIA. Social Security will automatically check the wife's eligibility for additional benefits when the husband files for his own benefits.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
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BL
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Re: SS Question

Post by BL »

I believe the most she could receive would be 1/2 his PIA amount, not age 70 amount. Read about the difference between spousal and survivor benefits.

One place to also read is Mike Piper's Social Security book or his other writings such as a search here on Boglehead's might produce.
rkhusky
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Re: SS Question

Post by rkhusky »

If the wife took SS before her FRA, then she might not get the full amount. And, technically, the spouse benefit is added to the wife's own benefit, with the max total being half the husband's PIA.
Golf maniac
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Re: SS Question

Post by Golf maniac »

I am not an expert and there are all kinds of websites and calculators. With that said my understanding is yes, she can file for spousal when husband takes SS at age 70 but it may not be 50%. The spousal is calculated by taking the current benefit and adding a spousal component. This amount will be reduced if the spouse filed early (before FRA).

Also, you talk about the husband taking a spousal benefit before he turns 70. This could impact his benefit at 70 based on the 2015 legislation and “deeming” rules. You need to understand if you will be impacted by these rules.

The legislation and process is extremely complicated and complex with a lot of nuances. I have used a paid calculator (and free calculators) where it shows me the best strategy with the highest lifetime benefits and allows me to do various what if scenarios. I strongly encourage you to use a free or paid calculator online or talk to an expert on social security before you take any steps or commit to any strategy.
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BL
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Re: SS Question

Post by BL »

How old is this couple? Unless they are past about 65 this year??, the law changed quite a bit back for them in about 2016. You really need experts, like Mike Piper, who revised his SS book, to get correct info with these major changes. Otherwise you may get incorrect or incomplete info here and elsewhere.

Here is one of the old Boglehead threads that came up from about the time of law change.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=176706&newpost=2672699#p2672395

For example:
For anybody who will not yet be age 62 as of 1/1/2016, however, there are two big changes.

First, the deemed filing rule will be applicable regardless of age. That is, even if you have reached full retirement age, if you file for retirement benefits or spousal benefits and you are also eligible for the other type of benefit (spousal or retirement) at that time, you will be deemed to have filed for both types of benefits. This singlehandedly eliminates the restricted application strategy for those who are affected.

Second, deemed filing will now kick in immediately for anybody when they become eligible for either spousal or retirement benefits if they’re already collecting the other type of benefit. (Previously, deemed filing only kicked in when you were actually filing for something.)
Last edited by BL on Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
Topic Author
Prudence
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Re: SS Question

Post by Prudence »

BL wrote: Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:57 am How old is this couple? Unless they are past about 65 this year??, the law changed quite a bit back in about 2016. Here is one of the old Boglehead threads that came up from about the time of law change.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=176706&newpost=2672699#p2672395

For example:
For anybody who will not yet be age 62 as of 1/1/2016, however, there are two big changes.

First, the deemed filing rule will be applicable regardless of age. That is, even if you have reached full retirement age, if you file for retirement benefits or spousal benefits and you are also eligible for the other type of benefit (spousal or retirement) at that time, you will be deemed to have filed for both types of benefits. This singlehandedly eliminates the restricted application strategy for those who are affected.

Second, deemed filing will now kick in immediately for anybody when they become eligible for either spousal or retirement benefits if they’re already collecting the other type of benefit. (Previously, deemed filing only kicked in when you were actually filing for something.)
Today, they are both about age 68. So, does that mean paragraphs one and two (first and second) do not apply to them?
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BL
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Re: SS Question

Post by BL »

Prudence wrote: Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:07 am
BL wrote: Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:57 am How old is this couple? Unless they are past about 65 this year??, the law changed quite a bit back in about 2016. Here is one of the old Boglehead threads that came up from about the time of law change.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=176706&newpost=2672699#p2672395

For example:
For anybody who will not yet be age 62 as of 1/1/2016, however, there are two big changes.

First, the deemed filing rule will be applicable regardless of age. That is, even if you have reached full retirement age, if you file for retirement benefits or spousal benefits and you are also eligible for the other type of benefit (spousal or retirement) at that time, you will be deemed to have filed for both types of benefits. This singlehandedly eliminates the restricted application strategy for those who are affected.

Second, deemed filing will now kick in immediately for anybody when they become eligible for either spousal or retirement benefits if they’re already collecting the other type of benefit. (Previously, deemed filing only kicked in when you were actually filing for something.)
Today, they are both about age 68. So, does that mean paragraphs one and two (first and second) do not apply to them?
Maybe so. Check that link above.
rkhusky
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Re: SS Question

Post by rkhusky »

If husband is taking only spousal and not his own benefit, then he is already taking advantage of the old rules. He must have filed for his own, applied for the spousal benefit, and then stopped taking his benefit, which you can't do under the new rules.
TBillT
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Re: SS Question

Post by TBillT »

Sounds like my situation.
Open Social Security tool (Mike Piper) gives quickly calcs this.
Looks like spouse gets spousal benefit to bring total payment as noted above to 1/2 FRA Age PIA for the other spouse
My spouses PIA is about 1/2 of my PIA anyways so I do not see much difference in my case
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