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The spousal benefit is an election from a spouse when their spouse is currently receiving Social Security benefits. It is 50% of their spouses benefit depending on if you are at full retirement age or not. At this point full retirement is a 66 so if you elect to take the spousal benefits under age 66 it will be reduced because of the early retirement penalty.
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Also, a spouse will normally take the higher of his / her normal Social Security retirement benefit and the spousal benefits. The spousal benefits and the normal retirement benefits,1 one would receive the higher of the two benefits taking into account some exceptions.
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