Can I Take My Benefits At Age 62 And Switch To Spousal Benefits At Age 67?

Feb 24 2017 - 12:15pm

My husband is receiving Social security already, about $2400 per month. In a few years at 62 I would receive $877. At 67, I would receive $1228 or half of what he receives which is about the same. Can I take my Social Security benefit at 62 and then switch it to a spousal benefit once I turn 67? Any other strategies that you would recommend? Many thanks!

Hi,

No, you can't, but this seems to be a common misconception. Whenever you file for benefits, you'll be deemed to be filing for both retirement benefits on your own record, and for spousal benefits on your husband's record. Social Security will compare your own full retirement age rate (PIA) with 50% of your husband's PIA, and pay you the higher of the two amounts if you wait until full retirement age to file. If you start drawing at age 62 instead, your benefit rate will be reduced by around 30%.

Your best strategy may be to wait until age 70 to apply, but that depends in part on when your husband started drawing benefits and whether or not you are still working. You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to be sure that you choose the best possible filing strategy.

Best, Jerry