Will My Wife Be Penalized If I'm Drawing My Social Security?

Dec 20 2016 - 7:00am

I am 74 and drawing social security. My wife turns 62, Jan, 2017. My wife has worked in the past and is eligible for social security payments based on that past work experience. Can she draw her own social security at her 62nd birthday or is she penalized because I am drawing mine. Thank you.


Your wife will not be penalized because you are drawing your Social Security. In fact, it may even permit her to receive benefits from your record in addition to her own. However, she would only be eligible on your record if one half of your full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) is higher than her own PIA.

Whenever your wife files for benefits, she will be deemed to be filing for benefits on both her own record and for spousal benefits on your record. She will then essentially receive the higher of the 2 benefits. And, if she starts drawing prior to full retirement age, her benefit rate will be reduced. Before she applies, she may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to explore her filing options.

Best, Jerry