Will My Wife's Retirement Benefit Be Lower If She Stops Working?

Sep 4 2016 - 12:15am

Hi Larry,

My wife retired in 2015. She is 63 years old and her birthday is Feb 23,1953. SSN web site says that if she waits until 66 years old her monthly payment would be about $1,320.00. My question is if she waits until 66 to collect (and doesn't work anymore) would her estimated amount of $1,320.00 decrease because of her not working for the last few years before turning 66. Thank you. So you know I'm 64 and intend to collect when I turn 70.

Thank you, Chuck

Dear Chuck,

Your wife's retirement benefit may well be smaller if she stops working. It depends on what she would earn through retirement relative to what she earned in the past. Our software can answer this question in matter of seconds. What it will also tell you is whether your proposed strategy is optimal. It surely is not. One of you can collect a spousal benefit on the others work record. If your wife collects at 66, you can take a full spousal benefit (half of her full retirement benefit) from the time she reaches 66 to the time you reach 70. Then you can take your own age-70 retirement benefit.

My best, Larry