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Spousal Benefits Social Security ?
Old 02-22-2024, 02:23 PM   #1
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Spousal Benefits Social Security ?

We are retired, I am 67, the higher earner, am waiting till age 70 to file for social security. DW is 62 & is getting social security,

Can I claim the spousal benefits now & still claim my own benefits at age 70. ?

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2024, 02:36 PM   #2
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I believe if you file the ssa will look at see which is greater -- spousal or if you applied starting now. If spousal is less, then you wouldn't get spousal but would start on your own record.
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Old 02-22-2024, 02:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rkser View Post
We are retired, I am 67, the higher earner, am waiting till age 70 to file for social security. DW is 62 & is getting social security,

Can I claim the spousal benefits now & still claim my own benefits at age 70. ?

Thanks
only those who were at least 62 in 2015 can do that .

now you only can take your own and if half the higher spouses fra amount is higher then the lower spouses fra amount the difference gets added to your benefit
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Old 02-22-2024, 03:08 PM   #4
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only those who were at least 62 in 2015 can do that .

now you only can take your own and if half the higher spouses fra amount is higher then the lower spouses fra amount the difference gets added to your benefit
Doesn't the difference get added to the lower spouse's benefit? Also, isn't the lower spouse's spousal benefit capped at 50% of the higher spouse's FRA, so waiting until 70 does not improve the spousal benefit?
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Old 02-22-2024, 03:09 PM   #5
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yes …the lower spouse gets the adder

so if the higher is 2800 at fra , regardless of when they filed , they just have to have filed .

and if the lower has an early benefit of 800 but the full is 1200 .

then half the higher is 1400 minus 1200 is 200 .

so 200 is added to the 800 for a total of 1,000
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Old 02-22-2024, 03:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rkser View Post
We are retired, I am 67, the higher earner, am waiting till age 70 to file for social security. DW is 62 & is getting social security,

Can I claim the spousal benefits now & still claim my own benefits at age 70. ?

Thanks
No, they changed the rules a while ago so you are too young to do that.
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Old 02-22-2024, 03:15 PM   #7
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yes …the lower spouse gets the adder

so if the higher is 2800 at fra , regardless of when they filed , they just have to have filed .

and if the lower has an early benefit of 800 but the full is 1200 .

then half the higher is 1400 minus 1200 is 200 .

so 200 is added to the 800 for a total of 1,000
Thanks - I could actually follow that!
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Old 02-22-2024, 03:18 PM   #8
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^^^

Clarification question - the spousal benefit does not start until the higher spouse has filed, right? So, the lower spouse does not begin receiving the spousal benefit until higher spouse files at age 70 in the OP's case. This is one of the reasons I'm planning to file at 67 vs 70.
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Old 02-22-2024, 03:24 PM   #9
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correct….unless divorced , the higher spouse has to be collecting
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Old 02-22-2024, 03:38 PM   #10
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Thank you for your replies
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Old 02-22-2024, 04:32 PM   #11
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^^^

Clarification question - the spousal benefit does not start until the higher spouse has filed, right? So, the lower spouse does not begin receiving the spousal benefit until higher spouse files at age 70 in the OP's case. This is one of the reasons I'm planning to file at 67 vs 70.
Hey, one more related question - if higher spouse files before FRA, then does this reduce the spousal benefit? I believe it does, but checking. This is further rationale for my waiting until 67, to maximize spousal benefit for DW.
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Old 02-22-2024, 04:32 PM   #12
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Hey, one more related question - if higher spouse files before FRA, then does this reduce the spousal benefit? I believe it does, but checking. This is further rationale for my waiting until 67, to maximize spousal benefit for DW.
no , everything is based on fra amount regardless.. however survivor is based on when you filed
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Old 02-22-2024, 04:39 PM   #13
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no , everything is based on fra amount regardless.. however survivor is based on when you filed
Ahh.... umm... food for thought. Thank you!
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Old 02-22-2024, 06:18 PM   #14
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Hey, one more related question - if higher spouse files before FRA, then does this reduce the spousal benefit? I believe it does, but checking. This is further rationale for my waiting until 67, to maximize spousal benefit for DW.
Yes, according to opensocialsecurity.com, which is a trusted source of information for me. Assume that spouses are exact same age with FRA of 67. Jack has $1,000 PIA and Jill has $3,000 PIA.

If Jack files at 62 then he gets $700 until Jill files (70% of own $1,000 PIA).

If Jill files at 65 then Jack gets $1,120... the $700 above and $420 spousal benefit [(Jill's $3,000 PIA less Jack's $1,000 PIA)*50%*84%] because Jill filed before her FRA. Jill receives $2,600 (87% of her PIA).

If Jill files at her FRA of 67 (or later) then Jack gets $1,200... the $700 above and a $500 spousal benefit [(Jill's $3,000 PIA less Jack's $1,000 PIA)*50%*100%] and Jill gets $3,000 (100% of her PIA)

If Jill files at 70 then Jack gets the same $1,200... the $700 above and $500 spousal benefit. Jill receives $3,720 (124% of her PIA).

You can verify this by playing around with opensocialsecurity.com. I put in two married individuals both born on 2/1/1962, so both currently 62 years old. One has a PIA of 83 and the other a PIA of 250 (1/12 of the PIA's above since the opensocialsecurity.com output is annual).

FWIW, for us, DW's PIA was less than 50% of mine and we decided to have her file at FRA and I'll file at 70 so we will get the maximum possible benefit. That decision is predicated on good health, good family longevity, we didn't need the money and deferring gave us more headroom for low tax cost Roth conversions.
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Old 02-22-2024, 06:44 PM   #15
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Confused. Why doesn't Jack get 50% of Jills age 67 amount of $3,000? They are both age 67 when they file.

Oh, Jack filed at 62 and has been getting $700 for five years. That is why he doesn't get $1500 at age 67 when Jill files.

So Jack has $42,000 socked away when Jill files, and for that he loses $300 a month. It will be 140 months before it is a loss.
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Old 02-22-2024, 08:37 PM   #16
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Confused. Why doesn't Jack get 50% of Jills age 67 amount of $3,000? They are both age 67 when they file.

Oh, Jack filed at 62 and has been getting $700 for five years. That is why he doesn't get $1500 at age 67 when Jill files.

So Jack has $42,000 socked away when Jill files, and for that he loses $300 a month. It will be 140 months before it is a loss.
As I think you figured out, they are NOT both 67 when they file... Jack files at 62 so the $300 discount for filing early is for the rest of his life.

If Jack files at 62, then he gets $700 until Jill files at 70 and $1,200 thereafter .

If Jack files at 67, then he gets $1,000 until Jill files at 70 and $1,500 thereafter.

So by the time they are age 70, if Jack files at 62 he has received $67,200 ($700*12*(70-62) and if he files at 67 then he has received $36,000 ($1,000*12*(70-67) so the difference at age 70 is $31,200.

But is benefit is $300 higher if he files at 67 so he breaks even in 104 months ($31,200/$300)... NOT 140 months... at 78 + 8 months (70+140/12).

At 62 to 78 + 8 months: ($700*12*(70-62))+($1,200*12*(78.6666-70))= $67,200+$124,800= $192,000

At 67 to 78 + 8 months: ($1,000*12*(70-67))+($1,500*12*(78.6666-70))= $36,000+$156,000= $192,000

The average life expectancy of a 62 year-old male is to ~80 years old and to ~84 for a 62 year-old female.
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Old 02-23-2024, 02:51 AM   #17
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when we beta tested for fidelity their OPTIMIZING SOCIAL SECURITY software it found the most dollars for us .

it came up with a very complex plan since my wife is two years older .

it used every strategy available to us .

my wife took ss at 62 so it had her stopping at her fra and letting hers grow again .

when she hit fra she filed and i filed restricted application for half hers .

then at 70 i would take mine and she would get a 4500 dollar a year adder to hers in spousal .

but as i pointed out to fidelity , it failed to account for the extra 50k a year we are pulling out that could have stayed or been invested .

they agreed and felt that that in the end the software dropped the ball meshing with individual situations that sway the best deal either way .

in our case we stopped the bleeding of our own money , filed pre fra and today at 71 , that money grew to the point it provides a higher income then had i waited until 70 and got the higher ss payment but the lower portfolio value

so personal situations are going to determine when to take ss as it is a very indidualized thing .

fidelity has still not found a way to bring the in house software back it is so complicated for many of us.

it still isn’t accounting for taxes , roth conversions , aca subsidies, investing spent down assets , etc
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Old 02-23-2024, 05:46 AM   #18
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Yes, according to opensocialsecurity.com, which is a trusted source of information for me. Assume that spouses are exact same age with FRA of 67. Jack has $1,000 PIA and Jill has $3,000 PIA.

If Jack files at 62 then he gets $700 until Jill files (70% of own $1,000 PIA).

If Jill files at 65 then Jack gets $1,120... the $700 above and $420 spousal benefit [(Jill's $3,000 PIA less Jack's $1,000 PIA)*50%*84%] because Jill filed before her FRA. Jill receives $2,600 (87% of her PIA).

If Jill files at her FRA of 67 (or later) then Jack gets $1,200... the $700 above and a $500 spousal benefit [(Jill's $3,000 PIA less Jack's $1,000 PIA)*50%*100%] and Jill gets $3,000 (100% of her PIA)

If Jill files at 70 then Jack gets the same $1,200... the $700 above and $500 spousal benefit. Jill receives $3,720 (124% of her PIA).

You can verify this by playing around with opensocialsecurity.com. I put in two married individuals both born on 2/1/1962, so both currently 62 years old. One has a PIA of 83 and the other a PIA of 250 (1/12 of the PIA's above since the opensocialsecurity.com output is annual).

FWIW, for us, DW's PIA was less than 50% of mine and we decided to have her file at FRA and I'll file at 70 so we will get the maximum possible benefit. That decision is predicated on good health, good family longevity, we didn't need the money and deferring gave us more headroom for low tax cost Roth conversions.
I think the key area of debate/confusion is whether or not Jack's spousal benefit is reduced if Jill files before FRA.
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Old 02-23-2024, 05:54 AM   #19
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Agreed. I seen things both ways but trust opensocialsecurty.com
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Old 02-23-2024, 06:04 AM   #20
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Agreed. I seen things both ways but trust opensocialsecurty.com
Thanks - at least I know its not my imagination - have seen conflicting answers from multiple online sources.
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