Good afternoon Pete,
I'm Doug, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
You wrote: I was told "NO" by the social security rep and that my wife will NEVER get more then she is already receiving because my wife has already claimed for retirement and that it would not amount to more then 1/2 of what I will be receiving when I eventually claim at age 70. What you were told was not correct. You wife will never get 50% of your age 70 retirement benefit, and because she applied for a retirement benefit early she will always carry a penalty. But she may apply for a spouse benefit at age 66 and receive potentially more than she is receiving now. Let me explain.
Let’s say your wife's Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) is $1,000. She filed for her own benefit at 62 and received a reduced retirement benefit of $750.
Also presume that you, her husband, have a PIA of $2500. At 66 she are eligible to receive one-half of your PIA. $2500 (your PIA); divided by two, that equals $1,250 (This is your her spouse’s rate). Social Security will subtract from the $1250 (the full spouse’s rate) – $1000 (her PIA) = $250.
Social Security will add that $250 to her reduced retirement benefit amount of $750 and her new benefit amount at full retirement age will be $1,000, which is a bit less than the full spouse’s rate, but hundreds more than you are presently receiving.
Obviously you will have to do the math on your own numbers but she may qualify for a spouse benefit at 66 and it may well pay her more than she is receiving now.
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I wish you and yours the best in 2016,