Can I File On My Wife's Account And Delay Mine Until Age 68 Without Any Penalties?

Feb 7 2019 - 9:34am

My wife started receiving benefits against her record at 62 when she retired. I am 66 as of Dec. 2018 and plan on retiring at 68. Can I file against her record and delay mine until 68 without any penalties to either of our benefits going forward. Also does it impact medicare benefits?


Yes, since you were born prior to January 2 1954 you could file for just spousal benefits only on your wife's record effective with the month you reached your full retirement age (FRA) of 66. Drawing spousal benefits would have no adverse effect on your future Social Security retirement benefits nor your wife's current or future benefit rate. Your own retirement benefit rate would still continue to grow by 8% per year from age 66 to age 70, even if you're drawing spousal benefits during that time.

Filing for spousal benefits would have no impact on your Medicare eligibility, but if you're currently paying Part B premiums out of pocket they would instead be withheld from your spousal benefits.

It sounds like filing for spousal benefits only effective with your month of FRA attainment would likely be your best option, but you should at least consider waiting until age 70 rather than age 68 to switch to your own record. That would maximize both your own monthly benefit rate as well as the widow's rate that your wife could potentially receive if you die before her. You should strongly consider using our software to compare your options so that you can choose your optimal filing strategy.

Best, Jerry