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Need suggestion on SS
Old 06-06-2011, 09:01 PM   #1
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Need suggestion on SS

I turn 64 in August and I am still working. My Wife turns 62 this Wednesday and does not work. I have been the good husband and never forced her to work at a regular job. She takes care of the home and me. When I was in business she did work for me some. She made a small salary so she could draw something when the time came. She can get about $500 a month SS . Should she wait until I retire so she can get half of my SS which would be about $200 more or can you start now with SS and change it when I retire? Can a person change that? I know SS would be the best place to ask this but maybe someone here has faced this. Thanks

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Old 06-07-2011, 03:46 AM   #2
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Study this carefully before you make any decisions. There are many articles on the subject. You will want to confirm your final approach with SS.

You have not fully described your situation so any comments are generalizations that may not apply to your situation.

Do you intend to wait till 70 to draw SS to maximize your benefit? Some couples with 2 SS take one early and the other (larger SS benefit) late (i.e., 62 and 70).

Remember SS has a COLA. Look at the cost of a COLA adjusted Annuity to see what it would cost to buy it from an insurance company (it is expensive). Depending on your situation... you might be better off spending some of your other assets from 65 to 70 (to cover the gap in SS payment) and wait to take your SS at 70 (to maximize the SS Annuity with a COLA). Also consider the survivor benefit of SS. If you predecease your wife, she should be able to keep the larger SS benefit. It depends on your specific situation. Take your time and build a plan that considers all of your financial resources and all of your options (along with the pros and cons for each option). Also keep in mind that if you decide to defer SS till after 65 (maybe till 70), you can change your mind if your situation changes and take it before 70... you can reevaluate that decision each year based on circumstances at the time. You have some flexibility.

Again... study your SS options and verify your specific situation and your plan with SS. Do not make any assumptions!

This bogleheads thread has some good links to articles. Bogleheads :: View topic - Maximizing Social Security Payments for Married Couples You should probably take a look at each article in the links the people provided

The TRowe Price article sums up several of the common strategies. However, I do not think it is comprehensive. You have several ways to approach the problem.

T. Rowe Price Investor - June 2010

This article from Humberto Cruz describes the "File and suspend" and "Claim now, claim more later" approaches.

File and suspend: The husband files for benefits at full retirement age. This entitles the wife to start receiving the spousal benefit if higher than her own. The husband then suspends his own benefit and reapplies for enhanced benefits at age 70. The wife never stops receiving the spousal benefit.

Claim now, claim more later: The wife files first for benefits under her work record. The husband, upon reaching full retirement age, files for his spousal benefit only. At age 70, he refiles for his own work benefit. At that time, the wife switches to her spousal benefit if higher than her own. This strategy now works better than file and suspend for my wife and me, but that will depend on each couple's circumstances.
Strategies on benefits in retirement |

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Old 06-08-2011, 08:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for that info. My wife signed up today. No sense to not get some of what was paid in. I will probably work until I find affordable health insurance. oldtrig
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