When Should I File For Benefits?

Nov 29 2016 - 10:45am

My husband retired at 58, took SS @ 62 and receives $1700 a mth. I am 63 with no income. He is 77, has been Ill, in and out of the hospital. What strategy should I use to optimize my benefits? 1/2 of his now minus % based on my age then mine @ 70? Mine now, about $600 till he dies? Hold out till I'm 66?

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's health problems.

No one can say for sure what will end up being best, but based on the information in your question, I wouldn't argue with you if you decided to file now. In all likelihood, your husband would have to live for at least another 15 years or so for it to pay you to wait until age 66 to file. It certainly doesn't appear as though you should wait any longer than age 66 to start drawing, since your own benefit rate at age 70 would likely still be less than 50% of your husband's primary insurance amount (PIA).

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website. It will allow you to run various what-if scenarios, which should help you decide the best filing strategy for you.

Best, Jerry