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Wife claim my Social Security?
Old 04-20-2021, 07:42 AM   #1
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Wife claim my Social Security?

My wife was a stay at home mom and here SS is less than half of mine. Someone was saying there may be an advantage for her to claim my SS while I keep deferring? Is that a thing?
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:46 AM   #2
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She can claim spousal benefits which would be half of your benefit. I believe you can continue to wait to claim benefits on your record while she collects those spousal benefits, but I'm not 100% sure.

Your questions are probably answered in this article (but I didn't read to make sure):

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/ans...l-security.asp
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:57 AM   #3
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As in all things SS that depends on your ages. You both would need to be 62 by 1/1/2016 for this to apply to you and your spouse.
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:11 AM   #4
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As in all things SS that depends on your ages. You both would need to be 62 by 1/1/2016 for this to apply to you and your spouse.
Well we are only 58 now - I'm just starting to think about such things
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:16 AM   #5
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Well we are only 58 now - I'm just starting to think about such things



My best advice would be to not listen to random someones giving you tips
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:40 AM   #6
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She cannot claim spousal SS until you begin drawing.
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:44 AM   #7
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Agree with MissMolly. Your wife can claim her own SS at 62, but she has to wait for you to start drawing your SS to claim spousal.
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:53 AM   #8
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Try Open Social Security for suggested claiming strategies: Open Social Security: Free, Open-Source Social Security Calculator
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
My best advice would be to not listen to random someones giving you tips
That's a good tip...
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Old 04-20-2021, 10:35 AM   #10
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That's a good tip...
....from a random somebody......
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Old 04-20-2021, 10:41 AM   #11
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....from a random somebody......

We're not random somebodies, I was talking about someone you know throwing out an unsolicited tip about SS claiming.
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Old 04-20-2021, 10:45 AM   #12
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My best advice would be to not listen to random someones giving you tips
I can't tell if I should follow this advice or not!
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Old 04-20-2021, 10:59 AM   #13
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I can't tell if I should follow this advice or not!
The good thing is the comment led the OP here to ask his question. At late 60s/early70s I can't tell you the amount of time fellow oldsters have proclaimed things about SS that are 100% wrong. This board was my number one resource to separate the truth from the B$...
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:09 AM   #14
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The trouble with this is that it only changed in 2014/15 and everyone will swear that they are right because they or their brother did it back in the day. Always go to the source if you want current rules.'
There are people still trying to use the old primary residence rules of reinvesting in new property that changed 25 years ago.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by qwerty3656 View Post
My wife was a stay at home mom and here SS is less than half of mine. Someone was saying there may be an advantage for her to claim my SS while I keep deferring? Is that a thing?
As others have posted, it doesn't work that way for people your age. She will get SS based on her own work record. Once you file, her SS will increase for the difference between 50% of your PIA and her PIA. PIA is primary insurance amount, the retirement benefits that you are due at your full retiremnt age (FRA).

So for example, let's say her PIA is $500/month and yours is $2,500/month. She claims before her FRA and is receiving $400/month. Then you claim at your FRA.

After you claim, her benefit will increase by $750 from $400/month to $1,150/month. The $100/month discount because she claimed earlier than her FRA permanently affects her benefit.

Something like that anyway. I second the recommendation to visit opensocialsecurlty.com to optimize your benefit... be sure to checked the advanced options box at the top of the page and select the factors that might impact your situation.

And consistent with post#5, this advice is worth everything that you paid for it and YMMV.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:47 AM   #16
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My wife gets 50% of my FRA benefit. In order to do this she had to wait until her FRA and I had to start my benefit also.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:04 PM   #17
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^^^ Yup... totally consistent with my understanding.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:53 PM   #18
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Try Open Social Security for suggested claiming strategies: Open Social Security: Free, Open-Source Social Security Calculator
One thing I've learned since I started looking at Social Security (including running strategies on Open Social Security), is that it is not a simple program. Especially once you start considering spousal benefits.
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:48 AM   #19
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And it's even more complicated under the covers. My understanding is what they do is that they project the cash flows for each possible claiming strategy... So claiming each month between 62 if you're currently under 62 and age 70. Of course if you have a married couple and two people, there many more possible claiming strategies. Then they multiply those cash outflows by the probability of one or the other of you being alive to receive them. And then they discount the adjusted cash outflows for the time value of money. And they do that for many many possible sequences and see which one comes out the winner.
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:02 PM   #20
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And it's even more complicated under the covers. My understanding is what they do is that they project the cash flows for each possible claiming strategy... So claiming each month between 62 if you're currently under 62 and age 70. Of course if you have a married couple and two people, there many more possible claiming strategies. Then they multiply those cash outflows by the probability of one or the other of you being alive to receive them. And then they discount the adjusted cash outflows for the time value of money. And they do that for many many possible sequences and see which one comes out the winner.
That is my understanding, too.

If anyone hasn't looked at it in the last year or so (I think?), Obvlibious Investor (AKA, Mike Piper, who runs the site) added a wonderful feature for married couples. In addition to showing what he calculates to be the optimal ages for the couple to claim, he shows you a matrix of all the possible claiming ages. You can then easily see how sensitive the expected-value outcome is to claiming strategies.

For example, for us, the optimal was me to claim at 70, and DW to claim at 62. But as long as I claim at 70, the age she chooses does not reduce the optimum very much, like <5% or so.
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