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SS Spousal Benefit
Old 03-23-2016, 07:34 AM   #1
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SS Spousal Benefit

I expect this to be a short thread on this question.

I've tried looking this up at SS but get so confused; there's also all these ads/articles that claim how Congress has recently made radical changes to SS but I can't make heads or tails of it. Yes, I haven't had my first cup this morning, so....

Here's my question:

I've been receiving SS for two years. Took it at age 62.
DW is currently 57 and has an age 62 benefit for just about as much money as I get.

Our plan was to have her take the spousal benefit at 62 (half my benefit) and wait until her FRA of 67.

Now these articles keep showing up saying that might not be possible.

Is this strategy still viable?
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:38 AM   #2
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She is not 62+ now. It is not possible for her to get a spousal benefit and wait to collect hers at 67 or 70.

The law has changed.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:52 AM   #3
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I know she is not 62. Our plan was for her to take spousal benefit AT 62.

Or do you mean that she would need to be 62+ to be eligible for some grandfathering?
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:20 AM   #4
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Your last sentence.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:29 AM   #5
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SS has simplified her decision. Whenever she takes it, SS will give her the largest amount at that time, and she won't get a do-over.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:33 AM   #6
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SS has simplified her decision. Whenever she takes it, SS will give her the largest amount at that time, and she won't get a do-over.
So the recent change in the law is that spousal benefit is gone for those currently under 62.

At 62 her only option would be to take her entire age 62 benefit or get nothing until she decides to take it at 67 or some other age. Correct?
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:37 AM   #7
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It was never an option to take a restricted spousal benefit at 62 due to "deemed" filing rule. What has changed is that it now not an option at and after full retirement age.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:42 AM   #8
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She can still start any time after 62--the SS gods will adjust her benefit. The spousal benefit will be applied for people whose benefit under their own record is less than the spousal benefit would be at the time they file. If that applies to her, she would automatically receive that but can no longer switch to filing on her own record later, which would by then be higher than the spousal benefit (unlike people who are older than 62).
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:49 AM   #9
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She can still start any time after 62--the SS gods will adjust her benefit. The spousal benefit will be applied for people whose benefit under their own record is less than the spousal benefit would be at the time they file. If that applies to her, she would automatically receive that but can no longer switch to filing on her own record later, which would by then be higher than the spousal benefit (unlike people who are older than 62).
Got it! Thanks. As her benefit is just about the same as mine she'll be better to just take her own at 62--or wait for some other age.

As a side note, it seems to me that this change will likely send many who (like us) were thinking of waiting via a spousal benefit and just drive them right into taking their own full age 62 amounts; this would only accelerate the financial challenges of SS.

But then, I'm sure the actuaries at SS have figured this all out.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:12 AM   #10
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As always you might double check this at a SS office ��.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:18 AM   #11
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As always you might double check this at a SS office ��.
as always.....
four years from now

Thanks.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:50 AM   #12
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Thanks all for the discussion. Greatly clarifies spousal benefit. How about survivor benefit?

If my wife takes SS at 62, would she be eligible for my survivor benefit when I pass away if I wait until 66? Or is it adjusted in some way because she took hers early



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Old 03-23-2016, 11:23 AM   #13
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Thanks all for the discussion. Greatly clarifies spousal benefit. How about survivor benefit?

If my wife takes SS at 62, would she be eligible for my survivor benefit when I pass away if I wait until 66? Or is it adjusted in some way because she took hers early
From what I understand, she gets 100% of the amount you would have brought in. Or her existing amount, whichever is higher.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:03 PM   #14
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Thanks all for the discussion. Greatly clarifies spousal benefit. How about survivor benefit?

If my wife takes SS at 62, would she be eligible for my survivor benefit when I pass away if I wait until 66? Or is it adjusted in some way because she took hers early



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The survivor benefit would not be reduced, however if she claims the survivor benefit before HER full retirement age the payment will be reduced.
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:13 AM   #15
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From what I understand, she gets 100% of the amount you would have brought in. Or her existing amount, whichever is higher.
just to add, spousal benefits do not grow after the spouses fra . waiting until 70 can see survivor benefits grow but spousal do not increase after fra
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:22 AM   #16
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....
As a side note, it seems to me that this change will likely send many who (like us) were thinking of waiting via a spousal benefit and just drive them right into taking their own full age 62 amounts.......
You meant to say: taking their own REDUCED age 62 amounts.

At age ~66 there is full retirement benefit.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:49 PM   #17
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You meant to say: taking their own REDUCED age 62 amounts.

At age ~66 there is full retirement benefit.
I know that. I meant their full eligible age 62 benefit vs taking a smaller spousal benefit.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:52 PM   #18
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Wow, my head hurts! I am 61 and plan on waiting until 70 (probably). Spouse (lower earner until last year) is 58. We think it best to have him claim his own at 62, then claim spousal at 67, when I claim. Is that the way to do it? Legal? Best?


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Old 03-26-2016, 02:57 AM   #19
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once you claim an early benefit you have no other option down the road to take anything else . all you ever get is your own .

when the other spouse files if 1/2 their full is more then the early filer full then the difference is added to the early benefit .

so lets say the early filer gets 8k and their full would have been 12k. if the higher earning spouse had a full of 30k then 1/2 that would be 15k.

they take the 15k , minus the 12k and add the difference to the early filers own benefit so they get their 8k plus an additional 3k giving them 11k. it is less then 1/2 the spouses full .
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:09 AM   #20
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Wow, my head hurts! I am 61 and plan on waiting until 70 (probably). Spouse (lower earner until last year) is 58. We think it best to have him claim his own at 62, then claim spousal at 67, when I claim. Is that the way to do it? Legal? Best?


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What is your FRA 67? The amount of the spousal is capped at 50% of the benefit at FRA, it does not continue to go up. If your husband claims his own benefit at 62 there is no point in him waiting one month past your FRA...anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
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