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keeperumiami, Senior Tax Expert & Financial Planner
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 7117
Experience:  Sr Tax Expert/Financial PlannerCPA/PFS (retired)Over forty years of advising individuals & small businesses
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I am 65 y/o, my husband of 41 years is 81 y/o. I have been

Customer Question

I am 65 y/o, my husband of 41 years is 81 y/o. I have been told that I am eligible to receive a portion of his Social Security, and I have been told that is no longer the case. According to what I have read online, since my birthday was in 1951, I should be eligible when I reach 66 or 67? Also, I have been instructed that I need to sign up for SS but defer it until I am 70 which is definitely what I want to do as I am still working.
JA: The retirement accountant will know how to help. Is there anything else the retirement accountant should be aware of?
Customer: I don't think so.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  keeperumiami replied 8 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** goal is to give you a complete & accurate answer. I am working on your request now & I will respond as soon as possible.

Expert:  keeperumiami replied 8 months ago.

Well, you've got it pretty well figured out.

First of all on a related subject, are you enrolled in Medicare? Even if you have health insurance at your employer, most private policies require that you enroll in Medicare when eligible at age 65. If you aren't enrolled at this point, you need to check this out as it could be costly to wait.

Now back to your question.

Because you were born in 1951 & (still a young woman by my standards), your full retirement age is 66. That is an important date.

Given that, you should be "grandfathered" under the "old rules" with respect to "file & suspend".

However, this is what is very important:

Once you reach full retirement age (66), you will be entitled to both a Spousal Benefit based upon your husband's earnings record and a Retirement Benefit, based upon your earnings record.

(You could receive both of these benefits now, but they would be permanently reduced because you haven't attained your full retirement age (FRA) of 66 yet.)

Since you are still working, and intend to let your retirement benefit increase by approximately 8% a year between age 66 and age 70, you should be able to file for your retirement benefit at age 66 and immediately suspend you benefits to resume at age 70, at approximately 32% higher than they would be at age 66, plus any cost of living increases from now until age 70.

However, as an alternative, you may file for a Spousal Benefit at age 66 without any reduction for early retirement, etc. That benefit will be equal to 50% of your husband's full retirement benefit at his full retirement age. (If he suspended his benefits at his full retirement age and didn't collect until sometime later {possibly at age 70}, you won't share in that 32% +- increase he may have enjoyed. As stated, you will receive 50% of his full retirement benefit at his full retirement age.

Once you start receiving your full retirement benefit at age 70 (which has been increased by approximately 32% for the period age 66 to age 70, then your spousal benefit will cease.

Now due to the recent change in the law, which all of the related regulations have not yet caught up with, I recommend that you visit your local Social Security office (it's best to make an appointment as otherwise the wait can be uncomfortable) to confirm the strategy that you are going to employ to obtain the maximum benefits that you and your husband have earned through a lifetime of participation in the Social Security System.

If you don't already have the information with respect to your local Social Security office, here's how you can locate it and make an appointment to just confirm what you plan on doing when the time comes.

You can use this link:

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

Please remember to rate my response.

Thanks very much,

Steve G.