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Old 12-20-2013, 08:01 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
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My wife shared this with me yesterday and it blew my mind. Called a good friend who is retired and he didn't know about it. Irony is I signed up for spousal today online took less than 20 minutes. I hope most forum readers know about it because we talk about it enough.


Don't overlook Social Security spousal benefits

Quote:
My financial planner, Jo Thomson of Cetera Advisor Networks in Alexandria, Va., flagged the spousal benefit to me. I didn't believe she was correct until I checked with the Social Security Administration.

"I think it's surprising to many that a man who makes more money can take his wife's benefit," she told me. "Among my clients, I haven't found anyone who knows about it."As two-income Baby Boomer couples retire, they are looking to replace money they've been used to coming in, and this helps."

Moderator cut: too much for copyright
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If anyone didn't know I hope this helps.

Last edited by Keeper; 12-24-2013 at 09:58 AM..
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
4,123 posts, read 4,749,366 times
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I am American but am retired in the UK. I'm just about to turn 62 and did my phone application with the London office at the US embassy just last week. My husband is not a US citizen and has never lived or worked in the US.

I was very surprised to learn that he is entitled to spousal benefits! He will have to get a social security number to collect it. Since he is 65 he was also offered Medicare at $100/month. He declined.

Since I don't live in the US my SS can't be taxed by the US. It can however, be taxed by the UK. The two countries has a tax agreement regarding this.

On the flip side, I have to included my UK pension income on my US tax return which I must do as I have another US pension. Complicated stuff but I'm not complaining!
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY
35,501 posts, read 10,514,156 times
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The "spousal benefit" scam is among those that should be jettisoned before the SSA even considers reducing workers' benefits.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:38 AM
 
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I just knew someone was going to say something like that! Isn't that a reduction in benefits offered? Millions could use but choose not to. At any rate I offered the article to help folks realize for free additional options. Shouldn't need to pay to maximize your benefits or hang out in financial forums.
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Old 12-20-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,218,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
I just knew someone was going to say something like that! Isn't that a reduction in benefits offered? Millions could use but choose not to. At any rate I offered the article to help folks realize for free additional options. Shouldn't need to pay to maximize your benefits or hang out in financial forums.
Well, now that USAToday brought it to the attention of many high income couples, it's safe to predict that SSA will close that loophole. As you may recall, it wasn't until it was well published that the SSA closed the loophole whereby early retirees could later pay a lump sum for past received benefits in exchange for a higher monthly benefit. That caught quite a few retirees with their pants down, so to speak.
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Old 12-20-2013, 03:38 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Well, now that USAToday brought it to the attention of many high income couples, it's safe to predict that SSA will close that loophole. As you may recall, it wasn't until it was well published that the SSA closed the loophole whereby early retirees could later pay a lump sum for past received benefits in exchange for a higher monthly benefit. That caught quite a few retirees with their pants down, so to speak.
Lenora, I am hard pressed to call it a loop hole. I applied on line today and they specifically asked if i wanted to. When I said yes it became noted at other points along the way and I had to affirm a couple of times that's what I wanted and it was part of my final sign off. They threw it in my 66 year old face to choose or not to choose. Doubt if it shows up if you apply prior to your FRA. This is one of the prime reasons MathJak and others have suggested software and books to help folks decide when to take SS and not miss out on possible increased dollars. It also minimizes the trade off of waiting til 70 instead of your FRA.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:51 AM
 
Location: High Cotton
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This does not make financial sense 'if' the husband and wife are the same age and both have maxed-out benefits, each earning 8% annually as they both wait to take benefits that are not needed.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:58 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
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As a follow up to my initial post and subsequent online application for Spousal Benefits yesterday:

SS called me today verify things and to let me know my benefits. First and most importantly I got clarification on the 62/70 strategy and which age point spousal benefits are applied to. By waiting to my FRA my 50% benefit will be based on her age 66/FRA benefit and not her reduced taken at age 62 benefit. I thought so but had always hesitated to say that with out verification. That is a major plus. It make my waiting to 70 all the better as I now subtract my spousal benefit from my age 66 benefit and the balance is how much I am missing out on. That is overwhelmingly worth waiting til 70 as we can. What also happened was he sought clarification from me three times that spousal benefits was what I really wanted to do. I finally after asking a couple of clarifying questions asked him why I wouldn't. He said no reason and from there we had a very interesting conversation. He confirmed most people don't know about spousal benefits or what they are and thus he wanted to make sure I knew. He was aware of the 62/70 strategy and I told him I had been planning to do it for about 15 years. He said most people apply for benefits without ever having thought about what they wanted to do and just want the most money they can get at the time and have no plan. They are limited what they can say to people and can't encourage them to do anything. He said the agency tries to get the information out but folks don't pay attention and as we know from this forum thing SS is trying to con them out of their money etc by delaying. We talked about a number of related things but, yes most folks don't know about spousal benefits and the advantage of incorporating them into a retirement PLAN. At any rate all is good and I am on tract to get mine in a few months. Clearly not a scam and clearly a strategy fully embraced by SS.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:20 AM
 
10,817 posts, read 8,065,019 times
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TuborgP, thank you for all the information.

I'm still a year away, and dh is two years away, from FRA. Neither of us intends to take benefits at that time but we've got a digital file of info about the various strategies and I'm adding yours to it. We plan to review everything and evaluate our plan and circumstances annually.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:26 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
TuborgP, thank you for all the information.

I'm still a year away, and dh is two years away, from FRA. Neither of us intends to take benefits at that time but we've got a digital file of info about the various strategies and I'm adding yours to it. We plan to review everything and evaluate our plan and circumstances annually.
Enjoy the planning and congrats. My wife just got her new benefits statement in the mail a bit ago so we are doing the SS Rumba.
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