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Quick SS Spousal Question
Old 02-26-2018, 06:09 AM   #1
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Quick SS Spousal Question

This should be a quickie:

The SS "file and suspend" ruling last year has me a tad confused and the question below might illustrate how I never really understood the F&S in the first place.

I started taking SS in 2015. DW turns 62 in 2 years. Her future benefits are almost identical to mine.

If I've got it right, DW could take 1/2 of my SS at 62.

If she does, does that preclude her from taking her own full SS later on?

Or can she take 1/2 of mine at 62 and then at FRA take her full amount? Or is this what the file and suspend ruling is intended to address?

Apologies for my regular stupidities here.
And, please, let's not let this trigger another "62 vs FRA vs 70" discussion here! That poor horse is sooo dead!
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:14 AM   #2
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Quick answer:
No, yours no longer has anything to do with hers, as she is too young to have met the cutoff in the changed law.
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
If I've got it right, DW could take 1/2 of my SS at 62.

If she does, does that preclude her from taking her own full SS later on?
If she files for benefits at 62, she will be deemed as also filing for her own benefits.

Since her PIA is the same as yours, she will receive an amount equal to her own benefits, permanently reduced by about 24%.

see: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html

The term for what you were seeking is "restricted application".
see: https://www.thebalance.com/social-se...ations-2388915

Here's the relevant section, showing how your wife is too young to take advantage:
"A spouse must be full retirement age and born on or before 1/1/1954 to file a restricted application for a spousal benefit only - and must not have already begun their own benefits."
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Old 02-26-2018, 09:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by joeea View Post
If she files for benefits at 62, she will be deemed as also filing for her own benefits.

Since her PIA is the same as yours, she will receive an amount equal to her own benefits, permanently reduced by about 24%.

see: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html

The term for what you were seeking is "restricted application".
see: https://www.thebalance.com/social-se...ations-2388915

Here's the relevant section, showing how your wife is too young to take advantage:
"A spouse must be full retirement age and born on or before 1/1/1954 to file a restricted application for a spousal benefit only - and must not have already begun their own benefits."
Wouldn't she qualify for surviving spouse after OP dies and get it bumped up to his level?

That is one reason that some spouses take SS early knowing that they will get a bump eventually....
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:01 AM   #5
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Wouldn't she qualify for surviving spouse after OP dies and get it bumped up to his level?

That is one reason that some spouses take SS early knowing that they will get a bump eventually....
Potentially, but the OP indicates that her benefits are almost identical to his. So it's possible that she won't get bumped up at all. And of course, she may predecease him.

In addition, the question was about spousal benefits, not survivor benefits.

Finally, the OP indicates that he doesn't want to discuss early filing date strategies. So I won't start asking about the OP's claiming date choice, expected lifetimes, etc etc - all which impact claiming date decisions for the OP and spouse.

If you wish to create a new question about the theory of "spouses claiming SS benefits early because they will get a survivor benefit anyway", that could be an interesting discussion. I suspect I don't agree with your theory, but want to respect the OP's wishes to not pollute this thread.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:37 AM   #6
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Wouldn't she qualify for surviving spouse after OP dies and get it bumped up to his level?

That is one reason that some spouses take SS early knowing that they will get a bump eventually....
As noted, DW and I have almost the same benefit amount. Maybe she'd get a $50-$75 a month bump if I bumped off first.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:57 AM   #7
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As noted, DW and I have almost the same benefit amount. Maybe she'd get a $50-$75 a month bump if I bumped off first.
OK... but my point was that if she filed at 62 then her benefits would not match yours as she took it early.... but would then match yours if you passed...

But it seems you do not want to talk about this strategy so I will leave it alone...
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:04 PM   #8
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OK... but my point was that if she filed at 62 then her benefits would not match yours as she took it early.... but would then match yours if you passed...

But it seems you do not want to talk about this strategy so I will leave it alone...
I took mine at 62 as well.

Appreciate the input and you're right, but the "62/FRA/70" horse is so dead here. Sincere thanks for the concern however.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:40 PM   #9
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As noted, DW and I have almost the same benefit amount. Maybe she'd get a $50-$75 a month bump if I bumped off first.
If you look at your Social Security Statement, it has 3 figures on it - at 62, at FRA, at 70.

Since it appears that you expect to both be claiming at 62, the surviving spouse will get only your FRA amount or her FRA amount - whichever is higher.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:52 PM   #10
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If you look at your Social Security Statement, it has 3 figures on it - at 62, at FRA, at 70.

Since it appears that you expect to both be claiming at 62, the surviving spouse will get only your FRA amount or her FRA amount - whichever is higher.
Her knowledge of that could hasten my demise. She's always looking for an excuse as it is.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:54 PM   #11
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Her knowledge of that could hasten my demise. She's always looking for an excuse as it is.
If $50/month would tip her over the edge, you need to watch your back!



While working and insured, my wife and I used to joke that I was worth a lot more dead than alive.
Once I reach 70 and claim SS benefits, I'll be back in the same situation.

So I've got a few more years of reprieve - then it's back to sleeping with one eye open.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:19 PM   #12
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If $50/month would tip her over the edge, you need to watch your back!



While working and insured, my wife and I used to joke that I was worth a lot more dead than alive.
Once I reach 70 and claim SS benefits, I'll be back in the same situation.

So I've got a few more years of reprieve - then it's back to sleeping with one eye open.

Why would that be... unless she is an ex....

If still married, you get 1 1/2 of SS as long as both are alive... when you pass it goes down to only 1....



But if she is an ex.... yep... I have a sister who was married to someone for 11 years and whenever he passes her SS will more than double... her second DH did not get much and she is stuck with his survivor amount for now...
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:07 PM   #13
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Why would that be... unless she is an ex....

If still married, you get 1 1/2 of SS as long as both are alive... when you pass it goes down to only 1....
And the 1.5 is shared, where the 1 is not.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:43 AM   #14
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And the 1.5 is shared, where the 1 is not.

WHAT!!! You get to share in the bounty
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:51 PM   #15
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WHAT!!! You get to share in the bounty
Most people do.

Perhaps in your case your spouse isn't sharing any of the money from the two SS checks with you? Kinda sad.

I guess as they say, the best things in life are free?
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:04 PM   #16
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Most people do.

Perhaps in your case your spouse isn't sharing any of the money from the two SS checks with you? Kinda sad.

I guess as they say, the best things in life are free?
Forgot to put an emoji down.... was just joking...

Not getting SS yet so that is out...
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:30 PM   #17
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Forgot to put an emoji down.... was just joking...

Not getting SS yet so that is out...
I understood - I was just joking back.

My wife has promised that I can share our combined SS benefits when our time comes.

But come to think of it, she had her hands behind her back. Fingers crossed? I guess I'll find out when we reach 70.

Cheers!
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