How Much Will My Wife Receive?

Dec 11 2016 - 3:30pm

Hi Larry, my full retirement benefit age is 66, but I will wait till 68 to start taking Social Security, so that should be an increase of 16%. When I'm 68 my wife will be at full retirement age of 66. Will she get 1/2 of my SS that I collect at age 68 or that of my FRB age of 66?


The most that your wife could receive as a spouse on your record is 50% of your full retirement age benefit amount (PIA), even if you delay taking your benefits in order to earn delayed retirement credits (DRC). However, if you die before her, any delayed retirement credits (DRC) that you earn by waiting past FRA to start drawing your benefits will carry over to her potential widow's benefit rate.

By the way, if your wife is also entitled to benefits on her own record, she would only receive spousal benefits if half of your PIA is higher than her own PIA. And, if she starts drawing either type of benefit before FRA, her benefit rate(s) will be reduced. But, if she was born before January 2 1954, she may be able to file for spousal benefits only at FRA while letting her own benefit rate grow until age 70.

You and your wife may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to make sure that you choose the best filing options.

Best, Jerry