Social Security Spousal Benefit Question

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Allan
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Social Security Spousal Benefit Question

Post by Allan »

My wife and I are both 64, but wife is 7 months older. We both intend to start full benefits at age 70, but we want to do the file & suspend spousal benefit thing at age 66. My benefit at 66 will be $2,490, wife’s will be $2,100. I assume it is best for her to apply for ½ of my benefit, but is that done when she turns 66 or when I do, which is 7 months after her 66th birthday.

Allan
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ObliviousInvestor
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Re: Social Security Spousal Benefit Question

Post by ObliviousInvestor »

Allan wrote:My wife and I are both 64, but wife is 7 months older. We both intend to start full benefits at age 70, but we want to do the file & suspend spousal benefit thing at age 66. My benefit at 66 will be $2,490, wife’s will be $2,100. I assume it is best for her to apply for ½ of my benefit, but is that done when she turns 66 or when I do, which is 7 months after her 66th birthday.
She won't be able to apply for a spousal benefit based on your work record until you have filed for your own retirement benefit. So, if your plan is to suspend as soon as you file, then that would not be able to occur until you've reached your FRA.
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Bill M
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Re: Social Security Spousal Benefit Question

Post by Bill M »

My wife and I are in same situation, and I plan to do the file&suspend so she can get the spousal benefit. I have one of those nit-picking detail questions that I can't seem to find an answer: Do I start the file&suspend paperwork a few months prior to my 66th birthday (and hope that they don't goof and think I'm applying for benefits early and can't suspend them), or wait until my birthday (and hope that wife's spousal benefit doesn't get delayed and she misses out on a few checks)?
Ron
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Re: Social Security Spousal Benefit Question

Post by Ron »

Bill M wrote:My wife and I are in same situation, and I plan to do the file&suspend so she can get the spousal benefit. I have one of those nit-picking detail questions that I can't seem to find an answer: Do I start the file&suspend paperwork a few months prior to my 66th birthday (and hope that they don't goof and think I'm applying for benefits early and can't suspend them), or wait until my birthday (and hope that wife's spousal benefit doesn't get delayed and she misses out on a few checks)?
FWIW, I/wife did this last year, my birthday being in January, hers in May.

We filed together (at the local SS office) in April. They took both applications at the same time but processed them in sequence (mine first - file & suspend, then hers - restricted application). She received her first restricted application payment (based upon 50% of my FRA amount) on the second week of June (my normal SS deposit date). In reality, I didn't do the file/suspend until three months after my 66th birthday but as long as it was completed before my wife filed was all that mattered, in our case. Even though I filed three months "late", my record shows that my effective date was January 1.

No problem at all in the processing or receiving the first check on time. BTW, the local SS office was well aware of the process since they were getting more and more "joint applications" as time went on. Apparently, knowledge of the method is spreading.

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ssmaven
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Re: Social Security Spousal Benefit Question

Post by ssmaven »

You are correct that she will collect more if she files on your record, but the difference is only $645. She would get 41 payments of $1,245, or $51,045. You would get 48 payments of $1,050, or $50,400.
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