Ask Larry

When Should I Take My Retirement Benefit Give My Wife Is Four Years Younger?

Hi Larry, My FRA is 67 but I will wait until 70 so I can maximize my benefits. My wife is 4 years younger than me and in order to maximize our benefits should she file for her own benefits at 62? In order for her to get 50% spousal benefits, does she have to wait until her FRA which is also 67? Thanks, Winston

Hi Winston,

I take it your wife is now under 62. In this case, she will need to wait till you take your retirement benefit before she can collect a spousal benefit on your work record. If she has a very low level of past covered earnings and they are a lot lower than yours, it may be best to take your retirement benefit a bit before age 70 so as to get her spousal benefits going. But this depends in large part on her and your maximum ages of life. We have an extremely user-friendly software program at, which costs $40, and can give you precise suggestions on how to maximize your lifetime benefits. The program may well say to do what you suggested, but it's good to have it confirmed. Also, the longer you wait, the higher will be your wife's widows benefit if you pass first.

Cheers, Larry

Sep 16 2016 - 2:15pm
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