If I Start My Own Benefits At Age 62 Will I Still Get Half Of My Husband's Benefit Amount When He Retires?

Category: 
Jul 27 2018 - 9:31am

Our actual Social security statements were used for these figures:
My birth year (wife) 1956; Estimated benefit at full retirement is $1340/month. Estimated benefit at age 62 is $988/month. I want to retire at age 62.
Husband's birth year 1957; Estimated benefit at full retirement is $2871/month. He plans on retiring at full retirement age of 66 and 6 months.
If I retire at age 62, and collect my reduced benefit of $988/month, will I still get 1/2 of his full retirement benefit (1435.50) when he retires at age 66 and 6 months? Or will I get a reduced % of the $2871 because I retired early? Thanks.

Hi,

No, you can't start drawing your own retirement benefits early and then get a full spousal benefit later. If you follow your plan, here's how it would turn out using your figures:

1) You draw your reduced retirement rate of $988 until your husband starts drawing his benefits.
2) If your husband files for his benefits after you've reached your full retirement age (FRA), your spousal benefit amount would be calculated by subtracting your own FRA rate from 50% of your husband's FRA rate. This would result in an excess spousal rate of $95.50 (i.e. $2871/2 - $1340). After rounding down, that $95 would then be paid in addition to your own reduced retirement rate to give you a combined amount of $1083 per month (i.e. $988 + $95).

Obviously, the actual amounts may vary depending on the accuracy of your estimates and variables such as future earnings and COLAs.

You and your husband should strongly consider using our maximization software in order to fully compare all of your various options so that you can determine your best plan for claiming benefits.

Best, Jerry