Should My Husband File Early To Activate Child Benefits?

Category: 
Sep 17 2016 - 2:00pm

my husband (will be 62 and stop working this year) FRA is 1540 and mine (57) is 2610. Our son is 15. 3 years to start college. Would like to know
1. if my husband start collect ss this year, my son will get his at 1540/2=770. However our gross income around 150K, AGI is much less. what's tax impact?
2. I plan to wait until 70 to collect ss, at that time how much my husband will get? his reduced ss + excess spouse benefit?

Dear Larry,

My husband will be 62 and stop working this year. Hi FRA benefit is $1540 per month. I'm 57. My FRA benefit is 2610. Our son is 15. 3 years to start college. Would like to know
1. if my husband start collect ss this year, my son will get his at $1540/2=770. However our gross income is around 150K, AGI is much less. What's the tax impact?
2. I plan to wait until 70 to collect ss, at that time how much my husband will get? His reduced ss + excess spouse benefit?

Thanks

Hi, Your husband's excess spousal benefit is zero given what you wrote. It will be zero regardless of when you take your retirement benefit and when he takes his. The reason is that half of your full retirement benefit is larger than 100 percent of his full retirement benefit. Also, you are too young to be grandfathered under the old law. You can expect to pay federal taxes on between 50 to 85 percent of your benefits. You can collect a child-in-care spousal benefit until your son reaches 16. All three benefits will be subject to the family benefit max and if you are still working you may lose your part due to the Earnings Test.

Our $40 Maximize My Social Security program can sort out when it makes sense for your husband to start collecting. He could start at 62, get at least your son a child benefit, suspend his retirement benefit at full retirement age and restart his benefit at 70. The program will say if this is optimal. Our esplanner.com software can help you with your future lifetime budgeting taking into account all the taxation issues, including the taxation of SS benefits.

My best, Larry