When Should I Apply For Benefits?

Dec 30 2016 - 11:30am

I will turn 66 in August 2017, I plan on continuing to work for at least 4 more years, my annual salary is 90K. I was wondering when I should apply for Social Security in 2017? My husband is 74 and has been drawing his SSA since he was 65, will he be entitled to additional Spousal Benefits?


If you want to start drawing reduced retirement benefits as soon as possible, you'd want to apply effective with January 2017. However, if you earn more than $44,880 from January through July 2017, Social Security will need to withhold $1 of your benefits for each $3 you exceed that exempt amount. This is due to the Social Security earnings test: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html.

The earnings test only applies until you reach full retirement age, or 66 in your case, so you can draw benefits starting August 2017 regardless of your earnings. However, if you delay starting your benefits, your benefit rate will grow by 8% for each year that you defer taking benefits until age 70. You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website before making any final decisions on when to apply.

Your husband would only be eligible for spousal benefits on your record if 50% of your full retirement age benefit rate is higher than his own full retirement age rate.

Best, Jerry