Should My Husband And I File Separately?

Feb 3 2017 - 12:45pm

I am 70, retired at age 66. My husband is 60. He plans to retire either at 66 or 70. Our combined incomes are approximately $69,000. Should we file separately? Should husband file at 66 and suspend benefits until age 70? His income will likely rise but only slightly from 66 to 70. Suggestions? Thank you very much.


I'm not sure if I fully understand your situation. If you haven't yet filed for your own benefits, you'll want to do that ASAP. Your benefit rate will not get any higher if you wait past age 70 to file.

The age at which you husband should apply depends on your relative benefit rates. If you could get additional spousal benefits on his record when he starts drawing, then it may be advantageous for him to apply at age 66 or even sooner depending on the level of his earnings. Otherwise, he'd likely be better off waiting until age 70 if possible. There would almost certainly be no reason for him to file and suspend his benefits at age 66, since that would have the same effect as simply not applying for benefits until he reaches age 70.

You may want to strongly consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to determine the best filing strategy for both you and your husband.

Best, Jerry