Would I Get Spousal Benefits If My Husband Files Now?

Dec 9 2016 - 12:15pm

My husband and I are both 68 (born in '48). We have been married to each other for 49 years. I have no Social Security credits as I was always a stay-at-home mom. He is still working part time, but wants to wait until age 70 to file for his SS benefits in order to get a higher amount. I know that he has to file for his own benefits first in order to get spousal benefits for me. But if we were to file now, would we get his benefits (about $2,000) plus a spousal benefit? We are trying to figure out if his benefit plus a spousal benefit now would be better than waiting until he is age 70 to get anything at all. Thanks for any help you can give.

Hi,

Yes, whenever your husband starts drawing his benefits, you'll become eligible for a spousal benefit. Your spousal benefit will be equal to 50% of his full retirement age benefit amount (PIA), so your benefit rate would not be any higher if he waits until age 70 to start. However, his benefit rate will increase by 8% for each year that he delays taking his benefit until age 70, and that higher rate would carry over to your widow's benefit rate if he dies first.

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to help you and your husband determine your best filing strategy.

Best, Jerry