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Spousal Social Security Question
Old 06-17-2016, 04:53 AM   #1
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Spousal Social Security Question

I was using the Bedrock Capital Social Security calculator that someone posted on another thread. I noticed that with the different options, that it didn't offer an option for the spouse (who is the lesser earning spouse with less Social Security benefits) to take what it equates to one half of their spouses benefit, which is higher than theirs. Is that option still available to us?

Would the lesser earning spouse have to wait until their full retirement age to file for this option? If they file for Social Security at 62, would they be giving up this option? (I'm assuming the spouse with higher benefit would have to have already be collecting when they file.)

I had this all worked out until they closed some of those loopholes and now I'm not sure what the best option is.

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Old 06-17-2016, 05:01 AM   #2
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My recollection is that this is automatic if the higher earning spouse is already collecting. So if the higher earning spouse has attained FRA and has filed for benefits the lower earning spouse received the higher of 50% of the higher earning spouse's FRA benefit or the benefit based on their work record. I think technically they receive the amount based on their own work record plus a spousal benefit to bring their benefit up to 50%.

If the lower earning spouse files before their FRA then the benefit is discounted.

In our case DW, the lower earning spouse, will file at her FRA and receive benefits based on her own work record until I file at FRA or 70 and once I file her benefit will be bumped up to 50% of my FRA benefit.
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