If I File For My Own Benefits At Age 62 Will I Be Eligible For 50% Of My Husband's Benefit When He Retires?

Nov 8 2019 - 10:13am

I will be 62 this year. I am considering drawing my SS, $650 until my husband retires in 2021, at 66 his FRA. He has earned maximum benefits. I believe that is $2861. When he retires will I be eligible for 50% of his SS for spousal benefits? Thank you for your help.

Hi,

No, if you file for your own Social Security retirement benefits prior to full retirement age (FRA) you won't get a full 50% of your husband's benefit rate when he files. I'll use an example to explain.

Say that Jane files for her Social Security retirement benefits at age 62. Jane's primary insurance amount (PIA), which is equal to the amount of her Social Security retirement benefit if she waited until FRA to start drawing, is $800, but Jane receives a reduced rate of $583 in return for starting her benefits early. When Jane is age 64 her husband files for his benefits. Jane is then deemed to have filed for spousal benefits based on her earlier application for her own benefits. Jane's husband's PIA is $2800, so Jane's excess spousal rate is calculated by subtracting her PIA from 50% of her husband's PIA, which in Jane's case is $600 (i.e. $2800/2 - $800). However, since Jane is only 64 when she becomes eligible for spousal benefits her spousal rate is reduced to $475. That amount would then be added to Jane's reduced retirement benefit rate of $583 to give her a combined rate of $1058.

Before deciding when to apply for benefits you and your husband should strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to fully explore and compare your options so that you can determine the best way to maximize your benefits.

Best, Jerry