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SS benefits when one spouse was born before 1952
Old 02-27-2018, 04:29 PM   #1
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SS benefits when one spouse was born before 1952

I have attempted to read up on this and have become totally confused, hoping someone can set me straight. I know there are special rules for people born before 1954 - only one of us was.

Self:
Born in 1957, turning 61 soon, no plans to claim SS until FRA (66.5)
FRA benefit - $2800/mo
Age 62 benefit - $2000/mo (a year from now)
Spouse:
Born in 1952, turning 66 soon, plans to claim SS at FRA (or asap thereafter)
FRA benefit - $2200/mo
Her FRA benefit is 79% of mine, therefore I believe she gets no benefit (hah!) from claiming under my account - at most she would get 50% of my age 62 benefit, not my FRA benefit, right?).

Is there any reason to try to optimize things beyond "she claims now, I claim at 66.5"?

I have tried a couple of calculators, but none seem to take into account couples, just individuals. And from what I have read, I get the impression the ability to file on your spouse's account is primarily aimed at couples where their SS benefits are vastly different (such as someone who didn't earn much over the years, which clearly doesn't apply to us).

Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2018, 04:39 PM   #2
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Old 02-27-2018, 04:40 PM   #3
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Old 02-27-2018, 04:57 PM   #4
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Thanks. That's actually one of the calculators I tried. Granted it *does* let you input data for a couple (despite what I said in my original post), but I couldn't see whether it took into account whatever the "special" case was for people born before 1954. But maybe that is because it doesn't apply to people whose benefits are similar amounts.

I'll experiment with a bogus (low) amount for my wife and see if I can trick it into giving a different answer, to convince myself it is taking that into account.
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