What Is Our Best Option?

Jan 16 2017 - 6:15am

Hi Larry,
I will be 66 July 2017...my wife will be 64 Oct 2017. We both have worked all our adult lives. My original plan was to retire at 67 Oct 2018 when my wife reaches 65 and Medicare benefits eligible (she is self employed and is on my benefit plan). At this time, Oct 2018, my wife would file for her benefits and I would file a restricted application, file for spousal benefits and then take my own benefit at age 70.

It occurred to me that if my wife filed for her benefits in July 2017 then I could file my restricted application and file for spousal benefits thereby receiving spousal benefits a full 15 months earlier. Is this the better option?

Thanks.

Hi,

That may be your best strategy, depending on a number of factors. However, if your wife will still be working when you reach age 66, the Social Security earnings test could limit or eliminate the benefits that either of you could draw on her account until she reaches her full retirement age (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

You may want to run the maximization software available on this website in order to be sure that you choose the best strategy for both of you.

Best, Jerry