Should I Consider Other Options?

Sep 11 2019 - 9:45am

I turn 66 (my FRA) in November. My wife turns 66 in December (her FRA). She has been receiving a modest monthly Social Security monthly benefit since age 62. We have a meeting scheduled at the local SSA office soon and I am seriously considering applying for my SS at FRA and my wife would get a boost since her amount is less than 35% of my currently estimated benefit. Can you help me determine whether this decision is the best for me or should I consider others (e.g. waiting until age 70 to get DRCs). Thank you!

Hi,

Since you were born prior to January 2 1954, one option that you should at least consider is filing just for spousal benefits only when you reach full retirement age (FRA) and let your own benefit rate grow by 32% until age 70. You could then switch to your own higher benefit rate at age 70, at which time your wife could apply for spousal benefits. Any additional spousal benefits that your wife could draw from your account would be calculated based on your full retirement age rate, or primary insurance amount (PIA), but if you die before her she could get your full age 70 rate as a survivor if you wait until then to start drawing your own benefits. She wouldn't get that full amount plus her own benefit, though, just the higher of the two amounts.

You should strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to fully compare your options so that you can choose the filing strategy that you believe would work out best in your case.

Best, Jerry