Can My Wife File For Spousal Benefits At Age 64 And Switch To Her Own Record Later?

Feb 4 2017 - 7:00am

My wife's birthday is 12/14/1953 (age 63), and my birthday is 8/16/1947 (age 69), I will start to take my benefit this AUG when I reach 70.

Can my wife collect (in AUG) on my benefit, while her benefit still grows? If this benefit is still available, we then would plan for her to switch over to receive her own benefit payment once she reaches Full Retirement Age? Thank you in advance!

Hi,

No, your wife cannot do that. If she files for spousal benefits prior to full retirement age (FRA), she'll also be deemed to be applying for reduced retirement benefits on her own record.

Your wife was grandfathered under the 2015 amendments on deeming (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/deemedfaq.html), so she could file for spousal benefits only at FRA and let her own benefit rate grow until age 70. That may or may not be her best option depending on your relative benefit rates. You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website in order to determine your best filing strategy.

Best, Jerry