Posted in the Social Security Forum
#1 Mar 6, 2014
Just need some clarification..
I am 55 yrs old. So is my hubby. So far when we retire his full SS benefit will be about $2,400 and mine $600. But I read where a spouse can get half of the other spouses benefit which in this case would be $1,200. This is more than the benefit I have earned. My question is this.. Even though I have a benefit of $600, can I instead take half of what my hubby's benefit amount is and if yes, will my husband still get his "full" benefit or will it be reduced by 50%?
#2 Mar 10, 2014
If you both are FRA probably 66 for you,then you can claim spousal benefit of 50% of his instead of yours and it will not affect his at all, also should he die before you, you would then collect his full benefit but no longer receive the 50% you get while he is alive, if you die first he would continue to get only his benefit, yours would stop. If you collect before Full retirement age your benefits, either of you, would be permanently reduced. Also if he works beyond FRA up to age 70 his benefits would increase 8% a year. that is assuming he waits to collect them as well. You could still collect against his, as long as he files at 66 and immediately suspends his benefites.
#3 Mar 10, 2014
Thank you!! Very very helpful information. I could collect half my spouses benefit even though I have earned a lesser benefit and it not affect my husbands benefit?
#4 Mar 11, 2014
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#5 Mar 19, 2014
Correct.(Note that all amounts are reduced before full retirement ages) You get an amount equal to half of his benefit, and he collects his whole benefit. As a couple you get 1.5 times his benefit. When EITHER one of you passes away, the survivor gets an amount equal to his whole benefit. This is what is paid even if you had NEVER worked! Besides that; if you are divorced (after 10 years of marriage) the same rules apply! You can collect half your ex-spouse's benefit, and when the ex-spouse dies you collect the whole benefit!! Even if you remarry (after age 60) you still can collect this!!! Astonishing!!! Finally, if you ARE entitled to your own benefit also, you can delay collecting it, even if it's more, collect based on his, AND earn delayed retirement credit to age 70 on yours. Wow! Current spouses and multiple ex-spouses can collect this, even if the worker is not collecting yet, and the worker remains unaware and unaffected.
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