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social security when retired
Old 07-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #1
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social security when retired

Is it true that if your husbands ss is higher than the wifes then he gets full and you get half of his....say he receives 2500 a month so that means you get half. So if the husband and wife both get 2500 only one gets the 2500 and 1250 ? Just really trying to understand before retire. thanks hope to hear
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #2
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This gives a good summary of SS benefits for a spouse: Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse
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Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:38 AM   #3
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Any person who is entitled to a retirement benefit based on his/her own work record would get 100% of their own benefit. Spousal benefits may pay a higher amount if one spouse is entitled to a 100% retirement benefit that is less than one half of the other spouse's 100% benefit.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wrichards58 View Post
Is it true that if your husbands ss is higher than the wifes then he gets full and you get half of his....say he receives 2500 a month so that means you get half. So if the husband and wife both get 2500 only one gets the 2500 and 1250 ? Just really trying to understand before retire. thanks hope to hear
another link Social Security Spouse Benefit – Called A Social Security Spousal Benefit

in your particular example, basically if you are both full retirement age and both entitled to 2500 on your own records:
1) you are entitled to 2500 on your own record
2) you are entitled to half of his , 1250, as a spousal benefit
3) what you get is the larger of the two which equals 2500

Another example, same age assumptions. H is entitled to2500, W is entitled to 1000 , both on own records.
1) you are entitled to 1000 on your own record
2) you are entitled to half of his, 1250, as a spousal benefit
3) what you get is the larger of the two which equals 1250 (tho technically perhaps you are considered to be getting 1000, your own, plus 250, the difference between the 2.

There are other details if you are not the same or full retirement age that might affect the numbers.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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another link Social Security Spouse Benefit Called A Social Security Spousal Benefit

in your particular example, basically if you are both full retirement age and both entitled to 2500 on your own records:
1) you are entitled to 2500 on your own record
2) you are entitled to half of his , 1250, as a spousal benefit
3) what you get is the larger of the two which equals 2500

Another example, same age assumptions. H is entitled to2500, W is entitled to 1000 , both on own records.
1) you are entitled to 1000 on your own record
2) you are entitled to half of his, 1250, as a spousal benefit
3) what you get is the larger of the two which equals 1250 (tho technically perhaps you are considered to be getting 1000, your own, plus 250, the difference between the 2.

There are other details if you are not the same or full retirement age that might affect the numbers.
ok what if he retires at 62 and pulls his ss and w retires at 64, then when the wife starts getting the ss does she get half of husbands ss at that time. Or does this rule not apply until you get to full 66 retirement age? thanks
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:47 AM   #6
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ok what if he retires at 62 and pulls his ss and w retires at 64, then when the wife starts getting the ss does she get half of husbands ss at that time. Or does this rule not apply until you get to full 66 retirement age? thanks
I knew I was leaving myself open to this ........
since I'm in the middle of washing dishes, I don't have time to look this up to be sure so going by gut........for the real answer, post your question on
bogleheads.org and look for a reply from sscritic..............

my educated guess, subject to correction by others..........
I believe H has to be full retirement age before you can draw on his so you would draw on your own until then and then apply the rule:
of which is larger:
1) half of what H would have been at full retirement age reduced by your factor for pulling early at 64
2) your own based on your earnings (which is W at full retirement age reduced by same age factor for pulling early)

Sounds like you have similar incomes so generally you'd be pulling based on yours if that assumption is true.

Then there are more sophisticated strategies for higher income spouse to delay pulling till 70...........so survivor spouse gets more...........
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
I knew I was leaving myself open to this ........
since I'm in the middle of washing dishes, I don't have time to look this up to be sure so going by gut........for the real answer, post your question on
bogleheads.org and look for a reply from sscritic..............

my educated guess, subject to correction by others..........
I believe H has to be full retirement age before you can draw on his so you would draw on your own until then and then apply the rule:
of which is larger:
1) half of what H would have been at full retirement age reduced by your factor for pulling early at 64
2) your own based on your earnings (which is W at full retirement age reduced by same age factor for pulling early)

Sounds like you have similar incomes so generally you'd be pulling based on yours if that assumption is true.

Then there are more sophisticated strategies for higher income spouse to delay pulling till 70...........so survivor spouse gets more...........
husband is higher wife ss is about 300 a month..Do most people wait until age 66 to apply for ss? so what you are saying is if I waited until 64 to apply then I would get half of what husband gets? just trying to understand all of this retirement stuff even though we have around 4-6 to retire,,,just want to make sure we do it right
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:45 PM   #8
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husband is higher wife ss is about 300 a month..Do most people wait until age 66 to apply for ss? so what you are saying is if I waited until 64 to apply then I would get half of what husband gets? just trying to understand all of this retirement stuff even though we have around 4-6 to retire,,,just want to make sure we do it right
This communication is a bit noisy............so I'm not sure I understand exactly what your situation is. You might want to give H current age, W current age,
H SS at full retirement age, W SS at full retirement age, age H will retire, age W will retire..........
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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This communication is a bit noisy............so I'm not sure I understand exactly what your situation is. You might want to give H current age, W current age,
H SS at full retirement age, W SS at full retirement age, age H will retire, age W will retire..........
husband age is 58 wife age is 58...husband will retire at age 62 in 4 years. wife at age 64 years of age.is full ss at full retirement will be 2500 wifes ss at full retirement age will be 500 a month thanks
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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Does wife work at a job that does not pay into the SS system. ? (ie: some teachers ) If that is the case the rules are completely different. and she would not likely collect on her husbands SS account.

If that is your situation there is a windfall adjustment and or government pension offset.
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:41 PM   #11
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Does wife work at a job that does not pay into the SS system. ? (ie: some teachers ) If that is the case the rules are completely different. and she would not likely collect on her husbands SS account.

If that is your situation there is a windfall adjustment and or government pension offset.
yes here job does not pay ss.. when wife statements come in from ss it states 500 a month
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:07 PM   #12
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I would leave the word "retire" out of the discussion.
One can draw SS and not be retired.
One can be retired and not draw SS.

One of us will wait until age 70 to draw a higher amount of SS. It is one of the best longevity insurance products available to anyone.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:54 PM   #13
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yes here job does not pay ss.. when wife statements come in from ss it states 500 a month
You might want to clarify your question at bogleheads.org by
adding what your job is/how much your pension will be, and that you do not
pay into SS if that is true.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #14
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Wife falls under windfall and government pension offset. The amount on her social security statement may overstate the actual payment. You can type in the amounts from her statement into the social security systems on line calculator to find out the true estimated payment. Use the windfall adjustment calculator Calculators: Online Calculator

She likely does not qualify for 1/2 of husbands payment due to government pension offset provisions Calculators: GPO Calculator
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:56 PM   #15
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The GPO will reduce the amount of your Social Security spouse's, widow's or widower's benefits by two-thirds of the amount of your government pension. For example, if you receive a monthly civil service pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be used to offset your Social Security spouse's, widow's or widower's benefits. If you are eligible for a $500 spouse's benefit, you will receive $100 per month from Social Security ($500 - $400 = $100).
Some individuals are exempt from the offset
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:58 PM   #16
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Some Federal employees and employees of State or local government agencies may be eligible for pensions that are based on earnings not covered by Social Security.
If you didn't pay Social Security taxes on your government earnings and you are eligible for Social Security benefits, the formula used to figure your benefit amount may be modified, giving you a lower Social Security benefit.
If you are eligible for Social Security benefits on your own record
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