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Ask Megan C Your Own Question
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16559
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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I am now 65, and my wife is 60. We both plan to start Social

This answer was rated:

I am now 65, and my wife is 60. We both plan to start Social Security benefits when we turn 70. My question is: Am I allowed, when my wife turns 62, and I will then be 67, to claim half-benefits based on my wife, even though she would not have started receiving benefits? Then when I am 70, could I switch to my own benefit rate?

MyVirtualCPA :

I realize you have a question about social security. My goal is to help you better understand your options.

MyVirtualCPA :

How are you today?

MyVirtualCPA :

Unfortunately, you cannot take a spousal benefit until your spouse actually files for her social security benefit

MyVirtualCPA :

There is the file and suspend program where one of you would file for benefits, and then immediately suspend your application to allow your spouse to draw the spousal benefit - but you can't do that until full retirement age

MyVirtualCPA :

For your situation, it would make more sense when your wife turns 66 to file and suspend on your account

MyVirtualCPA :

and allow her to draw the spousal benefit from full retirement age to 70 while allowing her own benefit to grow

MyVirtualCPA :

But, unfortunately, you can't draw a benefit off her unless she files early - and you don't want to do that.

MyVirtualCPA :

Do you have any further questions? If not, please take a moment to rate my response as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Customer:

Following your suggestion, when my wife turns 66, I will be 71 and will have been receiving benefits since 70. So if she files for spousal benefits (based on my 70-year rate), what would then have to be suspended?

MyVirtualCPA :

Nothing would have to be suspended because you would be drawing your benefit

Customer:

And if I were to die

Customer:

And if I were to die (not the main plan) between when my wife was 66 to 70, how would that affect spousal benefits?

MyVirtualCPA :

She would get a benefit equal to your full benefit

MyVirtualCPA :

But, she would either get that or get her own benefit - not both

MyVirtualCPA :

She could still draw the survivor benefit and let her own benefit grow

Customer:

So you are saying that if she turned 66 and I was not alive, that she could draw my full benefit based on my 70-year rate, and then switch to her own 70-year rate when she turns 70?

MyVirtualCPA :

Thank you for your follow up. Yes, your wife could draw 100% of your benefit, and then switch to her higher benefit later on if you were to pass.

Megan C and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks, Michael for your positive rating. Please come back and visit MyVirtualCPA for any of your tax, finance, or social security questions. It was a pleasure working with you today.

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