Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
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If you apply for social security at your full retirement age (usually 65 or 66 depending on your birth date) you can continue working full time without affecting your social security benefits. However, if your total combined income is over 32K (counting only 50% of social security benefits), up 85% of your social security income could be taxable. Regarding the increase in benefits, your benefits are calculated using your 10 years with with highest earnings. So, unless you expect to make much more than in your best 10 years, your benefits will most likely not change a lot.
When you apply for your own benefits, your spouse can also apply for her based on your records. She doesn't have to wait until you die. After you die she may be eligible for other benefits. I would suggest to make an appointment at your social security office to sit down with somebody who can access all your work records and give you exact numbers so you can choose which option would give her the most benefits, spousal or her own.
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