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Ask Rusty – About the Mystery of Spousal Benefits

October 5, 2020 | Presenting: Russell Gloor - AMAC Foundation Social Security Advisor

From what I’ve researched, the formula for spousal benefits seems very complicated. I read somewhere that it was a good idea to start the lower earning spouse’s benefit at age 62 and have the higher earning spouse file at full retirement age, for the spouse to get maximum benefit. But that information does not seem correct from other things I’ve read. Please help me clear this up. My wife’s birth year is 1956 and she now gets $656/month in Social Security benefits after claiming at 62. I have not claimed my benefits yet and Social Security’s estimator says I qualify for about $2850/month when I reach full retirement age. My birth year was 1957. So, if I take my benefit now at 63 will my wife’s benefit go up? And if I wait until my full retirement age to claim, will she get half of my benefit?  I’ve tried to research all of this, but it is still very unclear.

This recording presents the viewpoints of the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory Staff, trained and accredited under the National Social Security Advisors program of the National Social Security Association, LLC (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation are not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States Government, the Social Security Administration, or any other state government. To request additional information, contact our Advisory Staff at 888-750-2622, or email us at [email protected].