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Social Security Spousal Benefits
Old 05-07-2014, 02:15 PM   #1
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Social Security Spousal Benefits

I searched through many of the threads about Social Security, but did not find the answer I am looking for. My wife is 70 and is taking her social security. I will be turning 62 in June. I would like to defer taking my SS until 70. I have seen info that I could take a spousal benefit equal to half of her benefit at some point while deferring my benefit. If I take the spousal benefit at 62, will my benefit at 70 be reduced? Secondly, if I would wait until 66 ( my FRA ) to take the spousal benefit while deferring mine, would my benefit at 70 be reduced. Simply, should I take the spousal benefit now, at 66, or never. Thanks for reading!
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:44 PM   #2
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So one posted this link in an earlier thread.

I would plug your numbers in here and see what it say's for the different goals.

Social Security Benefits Evaluator - T. Rowe Price
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:21 PM   #3
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Nobody has answered yet....but as I understand things.

You can take spousal from your wife's SS. You would get 50% at your FRA....reduced for time below the FRA. It should not effect your regular SS at all. Unless I am wrong of course.....

When you should take it is up to you. Just depends on your situation. There are many SS posts on this site with many many different views on how to make best use of it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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I don't think you can do what you are proposing unless one half of her benefit is greater than your own benefit. The United States Social Security Administration
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #5
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I didn't save the SS link the last time we had a thread on this. There is a good ssa.gov page on spousal benefits. Here's a calculator that should help:

Social Security Benefits Evaluator - T. Rowe Price

IIRC, taking spousal at 62 means you will permanently reduce your own SS benefit at 70. Taking spousal at FRA does not impact your own benefit at 70. So most of the strategies involve taking spousal benefits at FRA. The other partner's age does not matter, except that they must be receiving benefits or have applied and suspended.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:11 PM   #6
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AARP has a good calculator that can give you the optimal strategy.

I think it will suggest that you take your wife's spousal benefit at your FRA and then take you benefit when you turn 70 but go there and run your situation through it before you do anything.

Another good source is socialsecuritysolutions.com and there is a modest fee but IMO well worth it given the financial implication of making a mistake.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:04 PM   #7
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If I take the spousal benefit at 62, will my benefit at 70 be reduced?

Yes


Secondly, if I would wait until 66 ( my FRA ) to take the spousal benefit while deferring mine, would my benefit at 70 be reduced.

No


Simply, should I take the spousal benefit now,

no

at 66,

yes

or never. Thanks for reading!
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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From the social security website:
If a spouse is eligible for a retirement benefit based on his or her own earnings, and if that benefit is higher than the spousal benefit, then we pay the retirement benefit. Otherwise we pay the spousal benefit.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:31 PM   #9
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Here's the SSA.gov link that applies here:

Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse

"
If you are under full retirement age and qualify on your own record, we will pay you that amount first. But if you also qualify for a higher amount as a spouse, you'll get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount.
If you begin receiving benefits:
  • between age 62 and your full retirement age, the amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to your full retirement age.
    If you are under full retirement age and you continue to work while receiving benefits, your benefits may be affected by the retirement earnings test.
  • at your full retirement age, your benefit can be equal to one-half of your spouse’s full retirement amount.
    Note: Your benefits as a spouse do not include any delayed retirement credits your spouse may receive.
    If you and your spouse are full retirement age, the two of you may have an additional option for when to start receiving benefits."
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeyy_joe View Post
From the social security website:
If a spouse is eligible for a retirement benefit based on his or her own earnings, and if that benefit is higher than the spousal benefit, then we pay the retirement benefit. Otherwise we pay the spousal benefit.
I believe that the workaround on this is that a spouse isn't "eligible" for a benefit unless the spouse has applied for the spouse's own benefit. So, the spouse carefully doesn't apply for his/her own benefit but does apply for spousal. Of course, check this and all that since I'm no expert on this. I think you have to be FRA but again not sure. The OP or anyone else interested in this that it affects should check with the SS office.
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeyy_joe View Post
From the social security website:
If a spouse is eligible for a retirement benefit based on his or her own earnings, and if that benefit is higher than the spousal benefit, then we pay the retirement benefit. Otherwise we pay the spousal benefit.

this seems to say the opposite from the same site.?



If your spouse has reached full retirement age and is eligible for a spouse's benefit and his or her own retirement benefit, he or she has a choice. Your spouse can choose to receive only the spouse's benefit when he or she applies online and delay receiving retirement benefits until a later date. If retirement benefits are delayed, a higher benefit may be received at a later date based on the effect of delayed retirement credits.
Note: If both you and your spouse are full retirement age, only one of you can choose to receive spouse’s benefits now and delay receiving your own retirement benefits until a later date.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducky911 View Post
If I take the spousal benefit at 62, will my benefit at 70 be reduced?

Yes


Secondly, if I would wait until 66 ( my FRA ) to take the spousal benefit while deferring mine, would my benefit at 70 be reduced.

No


Simply, should I take the spousal benefit now,

no

at 66,

yes

or never. Thanks for reading!
Everyone, thanks for the replies. I had called SS before I posted the thread and it seemed that they were giving me the same information as is posted on this response. Of course another retiree I know said he thought I could take the spousal benefit at 62 without penalty. I will be waiting to take the spousal benefit until 66.
This is a great resource for these types of questions!
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:03 AM   #13
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our plan is my wife filed for her reduced benefit at 62. her benefit is less than 1/2 mine.

when i reach fra i will file a restricted application for 1/2 her fra as a spousal benefit while letting my own grow to 70.

the fact you can not get spousal benefits if your own is higher only applys to the one filing for spousal benefits prior to fra.

once fra is reached the spouse applying can delay there own and file for spousal regardless of the amount from what i have read..
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeyy_joe View Post
From the social security website:
If a spouse is eligible for a retirement benefit based on his or her own earnings, and if that benefit is higher than the spousal benefit, then we pay the retirement benefit. Otherwise we pay the spousal benefit.
i believe that is only true if under fra. once you are over fra you have a choice whether to file for your own or spousal leaving your own to grow.

you file a restricted application for spousal only and not your own so this rule should not apply.
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