Ask Larry: Questions and Answers

Displaying 1 - 10 of 7567 questions.

Can My Benefit Amount Be Fixed?

dear Larry I live in turkey,non resident and72 years old.I used to live in usa for 13 years andI have 40 credits from ss.I went to LA GARDEN GROVE office and applied for retirement.the officer told me that I would get around 1200-1300 usd wth delayed retirement.but when I get my pay check it was 633 usd. than I called garden grove office they told me that I wasnot living in usa anymore.He told me that my actual benefit 920 usd without delayed reteriment.I get 359 usd from turkish ss as well.( 10 years working).can we fix this.

Hi. I don't have access . . . Read More

Category: Miscellaneous
Posted: May 13 2021 - 8:12am

Is It Correct That At FRA I Can Claim 50% Of My Former Husband's PIA Instead Of My SSDI?

My husband and I were married for 21 years and I was primarily a housewife.
I have subsequently worked enough to qualify for Social Security benefits and I am now on SSD. I am 62 years old and my former husband is 65 years old. Am I correct in understanding that when I reach full retirement age I can elect to draw 50% of his PIA instead of my SSD?

Hi. Your understanding is basically correct, but you wouldn't stop getting your own benefits if you file for divorced spousal benefits. Instead, your unreduced divorced spousal benefit would be calculated . . . Read More

Category: Divorced Spousal Benefits
Posted: May 13 2021 - 8:00am

Should My Wife Get A Job So That She Can Draw On Her Own Account?

According to her account report from SSI, my wife is one credit short (39 out of 40) to be able to draw social security on her own account. (She has been a homemaker most of her life, so has not reported any taxable income for many years). The questions are these:
1) Should she get a job so that she can earn the required taxable income (+/- $1500) so that she can draw on her own account? Or can she draw on my account as my spouse?
2) If she draws on my account, should she wait until I start drawing in October of this year (when I will meet my 66 years and two months . . . Read More

Category: Spousal Benefits
Posted: May 12 2021 - 7:45pm

Would My Widow Receive The Amount That I Was Receiving When I Die, Or That Amount Plus Subsequent COLAs?

I'm 20 years older than my wife. Let's say I wait until I am 70 to start collecting SS and pass away at 71. When my wife reaches FRA, does she receive the benefits I was receiving when I passed, or does she receive that amount plus COLA for the 15+ years between when I passed and when she applied for my benefits?

Hi. If your wife waits until her full retirement age (FRA) to claim widow's benefits she would receive your full benefit rate inclusive of the delayed retirement credits (DRC) you earned by waiting until age 70 to start drawing, plus any Social . . . Read More

Category: Widow's Benefits
Posted: May 12 2021 - 7:31pm

Is There A Downside To My Husband Applying For Spousal Benefits?

Larry, thank you for taking my question. My husband is currently 69 years old and collecting full social security benefits. I am 63 years old and will continue to work until full retirement age 66.8 years. Is there a downside to my husband applying for social security spousal benefits? Will this in any way affect my applying for social security benefits when I reach full retirement age? Thank you, Tina

Hi Tina. First of all, your husband could only qualify for spousal benefits if 50% of your primary insurance amount (PIA) is higher than his PIA. A person's . . . Read More

Category: Spousal Benefits
Posted: May 12 2021 - 9:02am

Can I Get Benefits From My Ex-Wife's Record?

I was married from November 1979 till April 1988. Divorced now for 33 years! Can I use my ex-wife’s SSN? I am currently on SSDI. We are both turning 65 in 2021 and She has been very successful!

Hi. It doesn't sound like it. You can only qualify for divorced spousal benefits if you were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years. If your marriage lasted less than 10 years, you can't collect benefits from your ex-wife's account.

Best, Jerry

Category: Divorced Spousal Benefits
Posted: May 11 2021 - 3:48pm

How Will My Wife's Benefits Be Adjusted If She Files For Reduced Benefits And Some Of Her Benefits Are WIthheld?

If my spouse elects to collect Social Security at 62 on her own work record but continues to work creating a holdback from SS payments over $19k earnings, and then when I retire at 67, she collects 50% of my SS payments (she will be 68 at that time). I understand that normally her early retirement penalty will be adjusted by the amount of months held back by SS, how will her monthly payment be adjusted to recover the held back payments if her monthly payments and my spousal top off payment cant exceed 50% of my SS monthly payment? Will her payment increase and my top off remain . . . Read More

Category: Spousal Benefits
Posted: May 11 2021 - 3:21pm

What Is The Best Way To Keep More Of My Income From Being Taxed?

Hi Larry I have funds in and IRA that were put in pre taxed. When I take them out they are considered taxable income. I have to claim my social security and this puts me owing taxes on the money I took out and some of my social security. I was born in 1952 and will soon have to take a required distribution amount. What is the best way to keep more of my income from being taxed?

Hi. I'm sorry, but this forum is intended only for questions about Social Security benefits. We aren't able to give advice on tax strategies here. You may want to consider using . . . Read More

Category: Miscellaneous
Posted: May 11 2021 - 3:11pm

If I Die, Can My Wife Continue To Draw Spousal Benefits And Wait Until Her FRA To File For Survivor Benefits?

Hi Larry,

If my wife is collecting a Spousal Benefit on my record, & I die, can she continue receiving her Spousal Benefit & wait to apply for her Survivor Benefit until she reaches her Survivor FRA, to maximize her benefit?

Thank you

Hi. No. Spousal benefits can only be paid on the record of a living spouse. If your wife is drawing spousal benefits only and if you die, her benefits would convert to widow's benefits effective with the month of your death. However, if your wife is drawing a combination of her own benefits and spousal . . . Read More

Category: Spousal Benefits
Posted: May 11 2021 - 3:01pm

Is There A Special Procedure That I Need To Follow To Apply For My Own Benefits?

I'm currently receiving spousal benefits and plan to switch to my own record at age 70. Is there a special form or procedure that I need to follow when applying for benefits on my own record?

Hi. Not really. What you'll need to do is file an application for Social Security retirement benefits. When you file a restricted application for spousal benefits only, you specifically exclude your own retirement benefits from the scope of your application. Therefore, if you're collecting just spousal benefits then you haven't yet applied for your own benefits. . . . Read More

Category: Filing For Retirement Benefits
Posted: May 11 2021 - 10:28am
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