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Old 06-14-2019, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
634 posts, read 1,430,487 times
Reputation: 757

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I was reading on here last week or week before and saw people mentioning about getting 1/2 of their spouses social security. I was just curious was this was about. I'm not quite sure what I would even Google for answers.

Background:

My wife is 10 yrs older than me and I am 45. I am looking to retire, part-time more than likely, at 55 as I will have 30 years in at my job and fully vested for my pension. My wife, who was born in '64, would then retire as well. She would be 65 and we would have her begin to receive her Social Security. I am thinking that I would just collect my pension until I'm 65 or 67.

I just signed up for an account with the Social Security Administration and it says that at my FRA I would get $2246/month. I know these figures will change, but we'll just use these numbers for now.

So I'm not sure if my wife would get and extra $1123 a month on top of her regular Social Security or how this works. Maybe there even isn't anything like this and I was reading it wrong.

I know 10 years is a long ways away, but I'd like to try and prepare.

Thanks for any assistance you might be able to provide.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,601 posts, read 4,680,291 times
Reputation: 27806
Quote:
Originally Posted by hankejp View Post
So I'm not sure if my wife would get and extra $1123 a month on top of her regular Social Security or how this works. Maybe there even isn't anything like this and I was reading it wrong.
No, she wouldn't get an extra amount. She can claim either her benefit or half of yours. Not both simultaneously.

We were at breakfast the other morning when I got a call from the SSA. They wanted me to know that instead of claiming my benefit when I turn 66 (my FRA) this year, I could claim half of my husband's. I said thanks but no thanks. Then the rep had me put my husband on the phone and explained the same thing to him: That instead of claiming his benefit (he's 68) he could claim half of mine and let his grow. Then switch to his later.

I don't know what my spouse has decided. I decided not to take half of his benefit -- which is less than my benefit -- because I don't expect to live past 70.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
634 posts, read 1,430,487 times
Reputation: 757
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
No, she wouldn't get an extra amount. She can claim either her benefit or half of yours. Not both simultaneously.

We were at breakfast the other morning when I got a call from the SSA. They wanted me to know that instead of claiming my benefit when I turn 66 (my FRA) this year, I could claim half of my husband's. I said thanks but no thanks. Then the rep had me put my husband on the phone and explained the same thing to him: That instead of claiming his benefit (he's 68) he could claim half of mine and let his grow. Then switch to his later.

I don't know what my spouse has decided. I decided not to take half of his benefit -- which is less than my benefit -- because I don't expect to live past 70.
Thank you Fluffy. How would this work with me being 10 yrs younger. If she starts to collect her SS at 65 and I'm still working, do they just calculate 1/2 of my SS based on the current year then? I'll have to have her sign up for the SS administration page and see how much she would get today. I probably double her income each year, so it might be advantageous for her to take 1/2 of mine for now until she reached FRA.

I'm assuming that if she took 1/2 of mine, I would still be entitled to my whole thing still minus the percentage penalty for claiming SS before FRA.


BTW, I see you are in Scottsdale. I was just in Surprise a couple weeks ago. Love the area down there.

Thank you again
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:37 AM
 
38 posts, read 13,976 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by hankejp View Post
My wife is 10 yrs older than me and I am 45. I am looking to retire, part-time more than likely, at 55 as I will have 30 years in at my job and fully vested for my pension. My wife, who was born in '64, would then retire as well. She would be 65 and we would have her begin to receive her Social Security. I am thinking that I would just collect my pension until I'm 65 or 67.

I just signed up for an account with the Social Security Administration and it says that at my FRA I would get $2246/month. I know these figures will change, but we'll just use these numbers for now.

So I'm not sure if my wife would get and extra $1123 a month on top of her regular Social Security or how this works. Maybe there even isn't anything like this and I was reading it wrong.
When your wife files for Social Security she'll be filing for her own benefit based on her own work record. When you file later for your own SS benefits she can get an adjustment to her own monthly payment that would bring the balance of it up to 1/2 of your FRA benefit. Think of it as a spousal "add on" to her benefit rather than as the choice to take her own benefit or to take 1/2 of yours. Under the current law, an applicant always collects their own benefit assuming they've qualified for any benefit at all. On top of that they may be able to get a spousal add-on once their spouse starts collecting benefits. Main thing to understand is that combined benefit (their own plus spousal add on) will never exceed one-half the full retirement age benefit of the higher earning spouse.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:41 AM
 
38 posts, read 13,976 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by hankejp View Post
If she starts to collect her SS at 65 and I'm still working, do they just calculate 1/2 of my SS based on the current year then? I'll have to have her sign up for the SS administration page and see how much she would get today. I probably double her income each year, so it might be advantageous for her to take 1/2 of mine for now until she reached FRA.

I'm assuming that if she took 1/2 of mine, I would still be entitled to my whole thing still minus the percentage penalty for claiming SS before FRA.
Your wife cannot get the spousal add-on until you file for your own benefits. If you file early, she won't get an add-on that brings her to half your FRA benefit. She'll get an add-on that brings her up to one-half of your reduced early benefit.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,356 posts, read 3,692,049 times
Reputation: 4084
First you both have to be old enough to qualify to collect. So she could qualify for 1/2 of your benefit (and not receiver her benefit) at her FRA. If she started at age 62 it would be less than 1/2.

However your benefit depends on the 35 years you have the highest earnings. I think the SS calculators assume you will work until your FRA so I would recheck your calculations on what you think you will collect.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:38 AM
 
472 posts, read 93,715 times
Reputation: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
We were at breakfast the other morning when I got a call from the SSA. They wanted me to know that instead of claiming my benefit when I turn 66 (my FRA) this year, I could claim half of my husband's. I said thanks but no thanks. Then the rep had me put my husband on the phone....
This has nothing to do with the question in OP, but I would be at least a little suspicious if you get an unsolicited call from "SSA." Maybe this one was legit, but scams from people claiming to be from SSA are a growing problem...

https://blog.ssa.gov/is-that-phone-call-from-us/

https://oig.ssa.gov/scams-involving-...n-ssa-employee
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:44 AM
 
8,820 posts, read 5,121,165 times
Reputation: 10086
Quote:
Originally Posted by hankejp View Post
Thank you Fluffy. How would this work with me being 10 yrs younger. If she starts to collect her SS at 65 and I'm still working, do they just calculate 1/2 of my SS based on the current year then? I'll have to have her sign up for the SS administration page and see how much she would get today. I probably double her income each year, so it might be advantageous for her to take 1/2 of mine for now until she reached FRA.

I'm assuming that if she took 1/2 of mine, I would still be entitled to my whole thing still minus the percentage penalty for claiming SS before FRA.


BTW, I see you are in Scottsdale. I was just in Surprise a couple weeks ago. Love the area down there.

Thank you again

The ability to claim 1/2 of your spouse's benefit while letting your own grow changed a few years back. There was a cut-off date, people having been born before would still be able to do this. I believe you and your wife were born past the cut-off date. I know that I was; I was born in 1967.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:03 PM
 
Location: In the land beyond Ohare!
889 posts, read 459,492 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelaMonster View Post
This has nothing to do with the question in OP, but I would be at least a little suspicious if you get an unsolicited call from "SSA." Maybe this one was legit, but scams from people claiming to be from SSA are a growing problem...

https://blog.ssa.gov/is-that-phone-call-from-us/

https://oig.ssa.gov/scams-involving-...n-ssa-employee
I was curious about this also. If a application or change is in process, yes calls are made. But a call out of the blue, seems odd. Hopefully legit.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:33 PM
Status: "0-0-2 start!" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,287 posts, read 15,339,626 times
Reputation: 9463
If the spouse took his SS at 65 and I applied at 62, as I understand it I am not entitled to half the amount he got at 65, because I am claiming at 62, so it would be reduced - correct? Half of what he was eligible for at 65 is about $100 a month more than what I would be eligible for on my own work record at 62.
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