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It might be advantageous to draw benefits on your earning record, and allow her benefits to grow. There are a few things to consider, so I will try to mention a few and point you to a calculator you can use to assist in making the choice.
Thanks for the rapid response. I don't understand how the 'drawing from a spouse's account' works
She could claim benefits based on 'filing as a spouse first, or FAASF. If she elects to do so, her monthly benefit would be based on 50% of your benefit, reduced for early retirement age. Doing so may have multiple advantages:
If her benefit now as a spouse would be more than claiming against her own work and benefit history, it's a clear win.
what are the advantages?
If her work history and five more years of growth create a larger benefit for her when she is 70, that's a possible win, depending on the difference in benefits now.
No, it would be much less than her own benefit, then and later. However, she would like to work part-time for a while and, I assume, she can change the situation and begin claiming on her own account at any time. Amm I correct?
You also mentioned she wanted to continue working part time. She would have to reduce her part time income to $15,120 per year in 2013 to avoid losing $1 for every $2 above that amount (there is a special rule for the first year of drawing benefits).
That's helpful information. We would have to do some complicated calculating to figure out whether this would work. How do we apply for her access to my SS account?
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/benefitcalculators.htm is the link to the calculator you can use to access both of your earnings histories and make the benefit decision. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator/ is the link to apply for the access to her ss records.
I should add that our's is a same-sex marriage so we have been able to have access to each other's accounts for only a matter of a couple of months but I believe that the laws applying to regular marriages are now exactly the same for our marriage. After 30 years together, it's about time!
https://secure.ssa.gov/acu/ACU_KBA/main.jsp?URL=/apps8z/ARPI/main.jsp?locale=en&LVL=4 is the link to the sign up page. The prompt is found on the benefits estimator page as well.
This gives me information to discuss with her and possibly base a decision. If we have other questions on this same subject, can we come back to you or do we have to join one of the programs offered in order to do that?
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Thank you very much for your help.