Should I File For Spousal Benefits And How Should I File?

Jan 29 2017 - 3:45pm

My wife filed for SS on line for 70 benefits to start.SS called her for additional info: 1. Did she want Retro and 2. Did I want spousal benefits. SS employee said they would call back for our answers. I will turn 70 in one year an do not want my spousal benefits to effect my account.
Question: would it be better for me to file for spousal benefits on line instead of by phone so that I can put my intention in writing?

Hi,

It sounds like you should definitely file a restricted application for spousal benefits only on your wife's record. Drawing the spousal benefits will have no adverse affect on your own benefit rate when you file for your retirement benefits at age 70.

You could file online, but if the SS rep is going to call you, it might be easier to let him or her take your application by phone. Just be sure to review your copy of the application, which should be mailed to you for review, to be sure it contains a statement restricting your application to spousal benefits only. It should say something like 'I wish to restrict the scope of this application to spousal benefits only.', or 'I wish to restrict retirement benefits on my own record from the scope of this application.'

You may want to use the maximization software available on this website in order to make your decision about when your wife should start drawing benefits. If she takes the retroactive benefits, both of you will be able to start drawing sooner, but her monthly benefit rate will be lower in return for starting before age 70. Whichever way she chooses, you'll want to start your spousal benefits effective with the same month that she starts her benefits.

Best, Jerry