How Much Would Our Family Benefits Amount To?

May 3 2017 - 9:08am

Dear Larry,

I am considering retiring at age 62, which will be May 2018 (62 plus one month). My current PIA is $1138. My wife will be 54 when I take early retirement; however, we will have three daughters ages 16, 11, 8 by May 2018. My wife is a traditional homemaker who takes care of these three children. Can you tell me what the MFB would be for us (We also have another daughter who will be age 18 by May 2018)?

In addition, I am working and making $10.50 per hour as a Security Officer and last year I made about $21,000 dollars. Can you tell me how much this will effect me by May 2018?

Thank you,

David

Hi David,

The monthly family maximum based on your stated PIA would be around $1715 (https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/familymax.html). However, your family won't receive that much if you file at age 62. Your benefit rate would be reduced by between 26-27% if you file at age 62, or to around $838. Your full PIA would be counted against the family maximum, however, leaving the remainder of around $577 (i.e. $1715-$1138) to be split between your family members.

The exempt amount of earnings allowed under the Social Security earnings limit in 2017 is $16,920, so if you earn $21,000, you'll lose about $2040 per year in benefits (I.e. ($21000 - $16920)/2). This is only approximate, though, since the exempt amount changes from year to year.

Best, Jerry