Ask Larry

Filing For Early Retirement Benefits

Will My Sister-In-Law Be Deemed To Be Filing For Spousal Benefits If She Files For Her Own Benefits Now?

My brother, age 63 has just been accepted for SSDI due to a compassionate allowances condition. He will begin collecting in July. His wife is 62. Social Security just suggested to them that she apply for her own benefit now. I'm confused about whether, if she does so, it will be deemed that she has applied for her spousal benefit now, since he isn't actually collecting yet (there is a 5 month waiting period for SSDI). Do you know why SSA might have suggested it to them?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 09:20

Does It Make Sense For Me To Take My Reduced Benefits Now If I Expect To Receive Spousal Benefits Later?

My husband is 59 and will work until 65. I am 63, no longer working and eligible for reduced benefits. His benefits if he waits until age 70 will be approximately $3,800 per month-my reduced benefits are now approximately $760; at age 70- $1,200. Does it make more sense for me to take my reduced benefits now and change over to take spousal benefit when he reaches 70? My husband believes we're just throwing money away by not having me take my reduced benefits right now. Do you believe that is the case? Thank you!


Friday, February 9, 2018 - 07:16

What Will Happen If I Take Benefits Starting January 2018?

I will be 65 July 2018. 66 is my full retirement age. I intend to keep working full time. What happens if I apply for Jan 2018 (the year I will turn 65> what are penalties?


If you start drawing benefits effective with January 2018 and continue working, you'll lose $1 of your benefits for every $2 that you earn in excess of $17,040 next year.

Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 17:29

Can I File For Benefits Now?

Hi! I just turned 63 in June. Can I file now 9/1/17 for social Security? I have a business and will only take 12,000 or under this year. My husband gets 3,000 per year, he is 78. Says he paid in full pool until he retired. I am an entrepreneur and have paid minimal. Thank you, Dorie

Hi Dorie,

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 07:44

Can You Give Me Some Advice?

I just recently turned 61 and 9 months (born in 11/1955) and filed for Social Security retirement benefits. I just recently found a job in February 2017 after 3 years of being UN-employed. However the pay is nowhere near what I used to make. I would make approximately $27,000 this year gross. This is a little over $10,000 above the 2017 earnings limit of $16,920. I need to work this relatively low-paying job to get free health insurance. My SS representative just told me that I should cancel my application because I would be heavily penalized for filing so early.

Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 07:08

Is It True That I Don't Qualify For Spousal Benefits?

At 62 I was advised by Social Security to begin taking my benefits because eventually I would take half of my husband's Social Security. My husband is 66 and applying for benefits. However Social Security is now telling us I will never be able to do this, as my full benefits at the age of 66 ( 1294.60) ! would be $40 more than half of his which would be 1249.20. Is this true? Is there something we can do? Now I am in the position of never being able to collect full benefits, which means a loss of more than $300.


Monday, December 19, 2016 - 12:45

How Much Will My Benefit Rate Be Reduced If I Start Benefits At Age 64?

I turn 66 April 20 , 2019 , If I decide to start my Social security payments in April of 2017 what percentage of my FRA would I lose . I am projected to receive $1550 per month .


If you start drawing your retirement benefits 24 months prior to full retirement age (FRA), your benefit rate will be reduced by 13.33%. You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website before making any final decisions on when to apply for benefits.

Best, Jerry

Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 20:00

When Should I Take My Retirement Benefit?

Hi Larry,

My husband's birthday is 5/1952 so he turned 62 before Jan.1, 2016. My birthday is 6/1954, so I did not turn 62 until after the Jan. 1, 2016 cutoff date. Our plan is for me to apply for my benefits, which will be much lower than my husband's, when I turn 66. At that time my husband will be 68 and he can collect half of my benefits, then when he turns 70 we switch. He will start collecting his own benefit and I will switch to half of his. Is this still legal under the new rules?

Thank you, Iona

Dear Iona,

Monday, July 4, 2016 - 22:45
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