Would You Help Us Understand How To Figure Out My Wife's Options?

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Feb 14 2020 - 11:05am

Hi Larry, Enjoy your answers!
I'm receiving social security @ $2,130 per month. My wife is currently 62 and would retire soon if we can determine how much in spousal benefits she would receive at 62, 63, 63, 65 and FRA at 66 based on mine. We do not understand the formula other than ay her FRA she should get 50% of mine. Would you help us understand how to figure this out please?

Hi,

The exact amount that your wife could be paid as a spouse depends on number of factors, specifically your primary insurance amount (PIA), your wife's date of birth, whether or not your wife is eligible for benefits on her own record, and the month that she elects to start receiving benefits.

A person's PIA is equal to the amount of their Social Security retirement benefit if they start drawing at full retirement age (FRA). Since I don't know when you started drawing your benefits I don't know if the $2,130 that you're drawing is your PIA or if it's more or less than that. Regardless of when you started drawing your benefits, though, if your wife files at FRA she'd be paid the higher of her own PIA or 50% of your PIA. If she files before then her benefit rate would be reduced for age. If she's only eligible for spousal benefits and she files at age 62, the percentage reduction in her benefit rate would be roughly 33%. The percentage reduction applied would be lessened for each month that she waits past age 62 to claim benefits until her FRA, at which time the rate would be unreduced.

Our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) could do all of the calculations explained above so that your wife can determine how much her benefit rate would be at any given point between age 62 and FRA. The software would also allow her to compare all of her various options so that she can determine the filing strategy that she feels would best maximize her benefits.

Best, Jerry