Can I Take My Own Retirement At FRA And Switch To Half Of My Husband's Benefit When He Files?

Feb 17 2020 - 11:30am

I am going to be 66 next month. thats my full retirement age. I was born March 1954. I am married. My husband plans to collect his social security next year in April 2021, at his full retirement age 66 and 2 months.

My question is: Can I take my own retirement in April 2020 at my FRA. I will be getting much less than when my husband files for his SS. So can I take my own SS now and when he applies for his SS next year in 2021, can I switch over to his SS so I can receive half of his? I say half because he will be at FRA when he files. Thank you.

Hi Cherie,

You couldn't actually switch from drawing your own benefits to drawing just a spousal benefit, but it sounds like you could qualify for a partial, or excess, spousal benefit when your husband starts drawing.

If you start drawing your own benefits at your full retirement age (FRA), any spousal benefit you could subsequently receive would be calculated by subtracting your primary insurance amount (PIA) from 50% of your spouse's PIA. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit amount if they start drawing at FRA.

Therefore, if you file for your own benefits at FRA and if your husband's PIA is more than twice as much as your PIA, when he starts drawing his benefits you could file for a partial spousal benefit that would be paid in addition to your own benefit. The 2 benefits would then add up to 50% of your husband's PIA.

You and your husband should strongly consider using our software ( to fully explore and compare all of your various options so that you can determine the best overall filing strategy to maximize your benefits.

Best, Jerry