Do You See Any Problems With Our Scenario?

Feb 8 2017 - 6:45am

Both my wife and myself are "grandfathered" under the new law. She is 68 and has been receiving her SS since age 62. I had been the higher earner and after retirement, neither of us has or will work in the future. I will be 66 in September and plan on applying for my "spousal benefit" at that time.

Question 1: Do you see any problems with that scenario so far?
Question 2: I may be confused, but what I'm getting from the book is that when my wife turns 70, she can also apply for a spousal benefit? Would this be in addition to her current payment?
Question 3: I am still confused by the terms "excess spousal" and "full spousal" benefits.

Thank you for your help.

Hi,

It sounds like your plan is fine, but you might want to use the maximization software on this site to be sure.

Your wife can't get a spousal benefit until you file for your own retirement benefits, and she'll only be eligible for additional benefits if 50% of your full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) is higher than her own PIA.

A full spousal benefit is what you'll receive when you apply for them at age 66. That is, 50% of your wife's PIA. You'll receive the full amount because you won't yet have filed for benefits on your own record. An excess spousal benefit is what your wife may or may not receive when you later file for benefits on your own record, presumably when you turn age 70. At that time, if 50% of your full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) is higher than her own PIA, the difference, or excess, would be paid in addition to her own reduced retirement benefit.

Best, Jerry