Ask Larry

What Percent Of Spousal Benefits Will My Wife Receive?

if my wife chooses to receive her own social security benefits 57 months before her full retirement age. Her own benefit will be 71.25 percent of her primary insurance amount. What percent of spousal benefit will she receive when me, the higher earning spouse retires?

Will it be 50% of my benefit, or 50% minus of mine minus the reduction based on her date of filing for her own?

Hi. Your wife's unreduced spousal amount would be calculated by subtracting her primary insurance amount (PIA) from 50% of your PIA. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing their benefits at full retirement age (FRA). If your wife is at least full retirement age (FRA) when you start drawing your benefits then she'd get the unreduced spousal amount plus her own reduced benefit amount. But, if you start drawing your benefits before your wife reaches FRA, then her spousal rate would be reduced for age based on her age at the time you start drawing your benefits.

It sounds like you and your wife should strongly consider using our software ( to fully compare and analyze all of your various options so that you can determine the best overall strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Mar 30 2023 - 5:48pm
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