Ask Larry

How Much Time In Advance Should I Contact Social Security To Switch To My Own Benefits?

Hi Larry,
I was born Sept 8,1952 and I am currently collecting spousal social security benefits. When I log into my account online I don't see anywhere that it confirms I am collecting spousal social security. I know I will want to switch over to my own social security when I turn 70 so I can get my maximum benefit. How much time in advance should I contact social security to make the change. Also how can I find out what my benefit will be at 70. I don't see any information about this online. Can you please direct me to where I can find this information. Thank you, Deb

Hi. Social Security allows you to apply for benefits up to 4 months in advance of the month that you want the benefits to start. So, if you want to switch to your own Social Security retirement benefits at age 70, you could file your application as early as May 1 2022.

My understanding is that Social Security's website currently doesn't allow people who are receiving spousal or widow(er) benefits to get estimates of their own benefit rate. You could either try calling Social Security for that information, or you could use the benefit calculator included in our software (

Best, Jerry

May 7 2021 - 11:13am
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