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dylatess
dylatess, ATTORNEY
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3441
Experience:  37 plus years of SSD practice
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My spouse is 64 and has enough credits to retire now on her

Customer Question

My spouse is 64 and has enough credits to retire now on her own history. I am also 64 but plan to retire at 66, my full retirement age. I have earned much more than my spouse. Is it true that my spouse can claim spousal benefits when I reach full retirement age and I file at 66? For example if my spouse qualifies now for $500/mo and I qualify for 2400/mo @ 66, my spouse would be able to transition from 500 to 1200 at that time?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  emc011075 replied 6 months ago.

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

When you apply for your benefits your spouse will have a choice between her own OR spousal benefits. Spousal benefits are 50% of the spouse's (your) benefits IF she waits until her full retirement age to apply. If she applies for any type of social security benefits before her full retirement age, she will permanently reduce her own but also all benefits available to her in the future.

Here's spousal benefits calculator (percentage): https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.htm

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm a little confused. My wife is not in the workforce so there is no change in her income. Filing at 64 would just mean a lower amount than full retirement. Can't she claim now (at 64) and get whatever she is entitled to; lets say that is $500/mo. When I file at 66, and if my retirement were $2400/mo, can't my wife get a total of $1200 between her base and the spousal amount ($500 + $700 from mine = $1200). Are you saying if she files early, then when I file at 66 she can't claim any spousal benefit?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 6 months ago.

She can apply for spousal benefit but if she applies before her full retirement age she will not get 50%, her spousal benefits will also be reduced.

She can apply at 64 for her own (also reduced) and when you apply for your own, she can switch to spousal, that will be about 41% of yours.

Expert:  emc011075 replied 6 months ago.

I see you read my respond. Do you have any questions? Is there anything else I can help you with today?