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I am now 65, and my wife is 60. We both plan to start Social

I am now 65, and...
I am now 65, and my wife is 60. We both plan to start Social Security benefits when we turn 70. My question is: Am I allowed, when my wife turns 62, and I will then be 67, to claim half-benefits based on my wife, even though she would not have started receiving benefits? Then when I am 70, could I switch to my own benefit rate?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
8/20/2013
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
Experience: Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
Verified

MyVirtualCPA :

I realize you have a question about social security. My goal is to help you better understand your options.

MyVirtualCPA :

How are you today?

MyVirtualCPA :

Unfortunately, you cannot take a spousal benefit until your spouse actually files for her social security benefit

MyVirtualCPA :

There is the file and suspend program where one of you would file for benefits, and then immediately suspend your application to allow your spouse to draw the spousal benefit - but you can't do that until full retirement age

MyVirtualCPA :

For your situation, it would make more sense when your wife turns 66 to file and suspend on your account

MyVirtualCPA :

and allow her to draw the spousal benefit from full retirement age to 70 while allowing her own benefit to grow

MyVirtualCPA :

But, unfortunately, you can't draw a benefit off her unless she files early - and you don't want to do that.

MyVirtualCPA :

Do you have any further questions? If not, please take a moment to rate my response as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Customer:

Following your suggestion, when my wife turns 66, I will be 71 and will have been receiving benefits since 70. So if she files for spousal benefits (based on my 70-year rate), what would then have to be suspended?

MyVirtualCPA :

Nothing would have to be suspended because you would be drawing your benefit

Customer:

And if I were to die

Customer:

And if I were to die (not the main plan) between when my wife was 66 to 70, how would that affect spousal benefits?

MyVirtualCPA :

She would get a benefit equal to your full benefit

MyVirtualCPA :

But, she would either get that or get her own benefit - not both

MyVirtualCPA :

She could still draw the survivor benefit and let her own benefit grow

Customer:

So you are saying that if she turned 66 and I was not alive, that she could draw my full benefit based on my 70-year rate, and then switch to her own 70-year rate when she turns 70?

MyVirtualCPA :

Thank you for your follow up. Yes, your wife could draw 100% of your benefit, and then switch to her higher benefit later on if you were to pass.

Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
Experience: Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
Verified
Megan C and 87 other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
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Thanks, Michael for your positive rating. Please come back and visit MyVirtualCPA for any of your tax, finance, or social security questions. It was a pleasure working with you today.

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Megan C
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
16,581 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level

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