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Non-working spouse SS benefit question
Old 02-06-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
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Non-working spouse SS benefit question


Just registered today - as I couldn't find the answer on the internet to this question.

When I retire from my first career in my mid-50s, my non-working spouse will be at the full retirement age. Does anyone know if he will be eligible for immediate 50% social security spousal benefits - even though I'm not retired and/or eligible yet to retire?

It also appears - if I read it correctly - that Medicare benefits don't start for non-working spouses until the working employee is 62.

Thanks for any info!


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Old 02-06-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
gone traveling
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
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I would recommend you ask "sscritic" over on the BH forum. H/she is the acknowledged expert on that forum for SS and benefit questions:

Bogleheads Investing Advice and Info

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Old 02-06-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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My understanding of spousal benefits is something like this:

You can only collect SS on your record, if your spouse has not filed for SS OR has reached full retirement age.

If you take the spousal benefit BEFORE you reach full retirement age - your spousal benefit is reduced. This is true even if your spouse has reached full retirement age.

If your spouse takes SS before reaching his full retirement age ---and you file for spousal benefits---your benefit is based on his reduced benefit.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:12 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 150
Not an expert, but it would appear your spouse would not be eligible for spousal benefits until you are eligible for SS benefits. Currently when you are 62 and he is 72. He would then be eligible to receive half of your full retirement age benefit, even though you would only be able to receive a reduced amount based on your full retirement age.

At age 65, he would be eligible to purchase medicare coverage, at whatever the rates are at that time according to current laws.

Edit: Link for medicare:

EDIT2: When you apply for benefits at 62, you could suspend actually receiving your benefit until a later age to receive an higher benefit under current rules. But who knows what the rules will be when you are actually 62.

Hope this helped a lil. Check FAQs on or sites.
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