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Pleasant SS surprise regarding DW long retired
Old 06-01-2016, 02:25 PM   #1
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Pleasant SS surprise regarding DW long retired

I will be retiring at the end of this year after having sold my business. I am 56. We have been FI for many years. My wife (53) has not worked (outside the home.........) since 1996 and we never really thought about her collecting social security in her own name.

As it so happens when I checked the SS website, she worked for 11 years and can collect $750/mth at 62 and roughly $1,000/mth at 65. She has not worked (outside the home......) for so long that SS never entered our minds. It certainly didn't enter our minds when she decided to stay home with our kids in 1996 nor did we look to see if she had the requisite number of credits at the time.

Just lucky I guess.

For those that have a spouse long retired to stay home with the kids (or for other reasons) you may want to check.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:33 PM   #2
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Very nice phil1ben! Do you know if her amounts will be more than 50% of yours at FRA?
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:19 PM   #3
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Would it be more beneficial for her to collect off her own earnings or to just take half your benefit at age 65? She wouldn't need any credits to take spousal benefits.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:47 PM   #4
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All good questions. I never really paid any attention to SS. Her benefit will be less than 50% of mine regardless of what age I elect to take it. Because of early retirement I have years to think about it.

What is the effect of her benefit being less than 50% of mine?

Thank you for your help.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:54 PM   #5
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Isn't her benefit ultimately 50% of yours once you start taking benefits?
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:49 PM   #6
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Her own + whatever it takes to reach 50% of his
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:11 AM   #7
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Since her benefit is less than 50% of yours she would get the same amount i.e., 50% of yours irrespective of whether she qualified for her own benefit or not. Bottom line in that case is it doesn't really have any effect that she qualifies for her own SS benefit.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:14 AM   #8
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Yes, you seem to imply this is found extra money, which isn't the case. So I don't know what you mean by "just lucky" in fact one might say your wife payed into the system and in fact won't really get anything more then she would have if she had never been employed. Which is the opposite of "lucky"...

Once you have less pressure from working, the SS system is worth studying and fine tuning your own situation.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:00 PM   #9
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Thank you all for the education.

For me, SS just never entered the equation. When I was in my 40s, I assumed the program would be substantially curtailed by the time I retired.

Now I understand that she gets half my benefit even if she never worked. Well, still better than I contemplated because I never considered either her direct benefit or her spousal benefit.
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