Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
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If she files for SS benefits at 62, her own and the spousal (based on your work records) will be permanently reduced. If she is in relatively good health and expect to live for another 15 - 20 years or more, it would be more beneficial to wait. Her spousal benefits will be 50% of yours if she waits until her full retirement age, or about 30% of yours if she claim them at 62. In order for her to claim spousal benefits, YOU would have to claim and suspend your benefits. It will allow her to claim spousal benefits and at the same time have yours to grow. This will NOT affect your benefits.
If she decide to claim hers now, I would urge you to make an appointment at your local social security office as soon as possible to discuss your/her options. The SSA agent can pull up your and her work records and tell you exactly how much she would get if she claimed her own or spousal. Also SSA already announced that there will be some changes how the spousal benefits are calculated, including claim and suspend option. Applications filed after March 2016 will be affected so the timing is really crucial.
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