Would My Wife Qualify For Any Social Security Benefits?

Apr 18 2020 - 6:19pm

Hi Larry:
I am Canadian working in the US under NAFTA for visa and my wife in Indian citizen
I am 62 an intend to retire in next 2 years though I intend to file for benefits at 66.5 years
My wife has never worked as she has been housewife but we have always filed our taxes jointly
I have 2 questions:
1. Would my wife qualify for any social security benefits?
2. If yes what age should she file for benefits?
I would be grateful for your guidance

Hi Bhaskar,

Your wife could qualify for spousal benefits as early as age 62 provided that you're drawing U.S. Social Security retirement or disability benefits and your wife is legally residing in the U.S. She could also be paid spousal benefits if she's living in Canada, since the U.S. has a totalization agreement with Canada. However, if your wife is living in a country that doesn't have a totalization agreement with the U.S., such as India, then she could only be paid spousal benefits if the two of you resided together in the U.S. for at least 5 years of your marriage.

If your wife does qualify for benefits, I can't advise her when to file. If she files at her full retirement age (FRA), her spousal rate would amount to 50% of your FRA rate. If your wife starts drawing at age 62, though, her rate would be reduced by 30% to 35% depending on her year of birth.

You and your wife should strongly consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to fully explore and compare all of your options so that you can determine the best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry