Should I Ask For Spousal Benefits?

Category: 
Jul 6 2020 - 9:22am

Hi Larry:

My wife is 62 retired and of course NO salary. If she asks for her reduced SS benefits, I know her benefits won't be affected even my salary is a low six figure . My question: Should I (at 64 y/o and not at FRA), ask for spouse benefits?

Hi,

You can't file for spousal benefits without also being required to file for your own Social Security retirement benefits at the same time. You could then only be paid essentially the higher of your own benefit rate or your spousal rate, and your benefit rate would be reduced for age if you claim benefits prior to your full retirement age (FRA). Furthermore, whether you qualify for retirement benefits and/or spousal benefits, if you claim benefits prior to FRA they could be subject to full or partial withholding if you earn more than the Social Security earnings test exempt amount (https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/whileworking.html).

Only people born prior to January 2 1954 are allowed to file for spousal benefits without also being deemed to be filing for their own benefits at the same time. And, they can only do so if they file for the spousal benefits at FRA or later, not prior to FRA.

Best, Jerry