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If My Wife Claims Her Own Benefits At 62 Will She Still Get 50% Of My Benefit When I Start Collecting?

If my Wife claims her Social Security early at 62 and then claims spousal benefits when I claim at 70 (and she will be 68), will she get 50% of my benefit or a reduced spousal benefit amount because she claimed her social security at 62?

Hi. No, if your wife starts drawing her own benefits prior to her full retirement age (FRA) she'll be stuck with the resulting reduction in her benefit rate for at least as long as both of you are living. Any excess spousal benefit for which she qualifies would not be reduced, though, as long as she's at least FRA when you start drawing your benefits.

For example, say Mary files for her Social Security retirement benefits this year at age 62. Mary's primary insurance amount (PIA), which is equal to the amount she'd receive if she waited until her full retirement age (FRA) to start drawing, is $800. But, since Mary is claiming benefits at age 62 her benefit rate is reduced for age to $570. Six years later Mary's husband applies for his benefits, and his PIA is $2000. Mary's unreduced excess spousal benefit would then be calculated by subtracting her PIA from 50% of her husband's PIA, which in Mary's case amounts to $200 (i.e. $2000/2 - $800). Mary would then be paid the full unreduced excess spousal amount of $200 in addition to her own reduced rate of $570 to give her a combined rate of $770.

It sounds like you and your wife should strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to fully analyze the options available to you in order to determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

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Posted: 
Aug 30 2021 - 10:22am
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