Ask Larry

Is it Worth Earning Additional Quarters?

My wife was born in March 1953 turned 63 in March. I am born Jan. 1953. As a professional but stay at home Mom, she has only 31 quarters in her SSA earnings records dating to 1974. Her total taxes paid to social security is only $4326 and the same for her employer's share. There is a gap of no work 1984 to 1998 and again notwork since 2002. QUESTION- Is it worth paying into Soc. Sec the 9 remaining quarters as self employed on the minimum amt to qualify ($50? ) until she hits 40 quarters at age 65.5?. I plan to file and suspend until 70 which would allow her at max to draw for 4.25 calender years. I can not find a calculator to see if this "small change" transaction is worth the trouble. SS.Gov does not allow one to plug in anticipated earnings if they are not currently over the 40 quarter threshold. Any advice?

John,
IRS law requires that you report self-employment compensation as it is in fact earned by actually working. You can't artificially report compensation just to game Social Security. So, if your wife is actually self-employed and she earns at least the minimum quarterly coverage amount, currently $1260 per quarter, then she would earn one quarter for each such increment of earnings.
Best,
Mike

Posted: 
Jul 3 2016 - 9:45am
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