Should I Hire My Wife?

Feb 10 2020 - 10:14am

I am 52 and my wife is 40. I want to maximize my SS for my wife (not me), so I plan on working until I am 70 or later (I have 3 kids, 10, 9 and 5, so I will be working for a long time). In addition to my normal job, I have an educational consulting business (sole proprietorship) that brings in between $30,000 and $40,000 each year. My wife has never worked outside of the home. Should I “hire” my wife for the next ten years and pay her $1750 per quarter (more than I need to in order for her to have a quarter in SS). Also, if I hire her, do you suggest setting up a small business retirement account and have an “employer match” for her contributions to her retirement account? Her relatives on her mother’s side of the family seem to live well into their late 80s (and there are some over 100), so I want to make sure that she doesn’t run out of money (which is why I am thinking about the hiring her, so she qualifies for SS). Do I not do this and just take the money and put it into an IRA?


You can't legally pay someone wages for doing no work, or overpay someone for doing minimal work, for the purpose of making them insured for or increasing their Social Security benefits. But, if your wife performs services for your business she could be paid a fair wage.

There are too many variables involved for me to be able to give you advice on what to do. You and your wife may want to consider using our software ( to do your retirement planning.

Best, Jerry