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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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My wife reached age 65 and began to collect social security

Customer Question

My wife reached age 65 and began to collect social security at that time. I reached retirement age 10 years following my wife and I now collect social security benefits. My lifetime earnings were considerable more than my wife's and she had stopped working at age 36. I read recently that her benefits would be a percentage of mine and not based upon just her individual earnings. Is this correct and if so how can I determine the correct benefits for each of us? Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good afternoon,I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. As you are now retirement age and collecting your benefits, your wife is eligible to take a spouse benefit instead of her own retirement benefit. This can in some instances mean a significant increase in her benefits. Your wife will either be eligible for 50% of your full retirement benefit, if she took her own retirement at full retirement age (66 if she was born after 1943), but if she retired early by one year when the full retirement age was 66, then she would receive about 45% of your full retirement benefit. You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you.I wish you and yours the best in 2015,Doug