When Will My Wife Be Eligible For Spousal Benefits?

Category: 
Jan 21 2017 - 7:00am

Hi Larry.

I was born in Nov 1952 and my wife was born in Dec 1956. While I have worked most of my life, my wife had only worked for just about a year and then just stayed at home as a housewife all her life because she suffered from back pain.

A have a few questions for you:

1. I would be turning 66 in Nov 2018. I plan on getting my benefits starting at age 66. As I turn 66, my wife would be turning 62. Would she be able to get any spousal benefits at age 62 or does she have to wait until she turns 66 to get any spousal benefits?

2. I and my wife currently own a condo; however, we are planning on selling it and living with our son and daughter-in-law at their house. Would not owning a house/condo reduce Social Security benefits when I apply for them next year?

3. I have told my son that since I and my wife would be living with him, we can help him pay off a portion of his mortgage from the money we would receive after selling our condo. In return, my son is willing to add my name to the ownership of his house. Would owning a house along with my son impact my social security benefits? How would it affect my son's taxes?

I know that I've asked quite a few questions but you are the only help I could find on the internet and hope that you'd be able to help.

Regards,
Jamie

Hi Jamie,

If your wife is at least age 62 when you start drawing your benefits, she'll be eligible for spousal benefits. But, if she files before her full retirement age (FRA), her benefits will be reduced for age. If she waits until FRA to file, she'll receive 50% of your full retirement age rate (PIA), but her rate will be reduced by around 31 to 32% if she starts drawing at age 62. You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to be sure that you make the best filing choices.

Home ownership, or lack thereof, has no bearing on a person's Social Security benefit rate. So, the answers to your questions 2 & 3 are both no. I can't answer your tax question, though.

Best, Jerry