2 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2012 8:46 PM by Lswiss

    SS Spousal Benefit

      I'm getting conflicting information.... even after having gone to the SS office.  I keep hearing that I can start to draw at 60 or 62 even though I'm still working and earning over $15k.
      I've learned that every year I do not collect,  my husband's amount increases by 8%.
      Yet others are telling me I can start withdrawing now.
      I was an at-home mom for 17 years and never earned close to his salary until the past 4 years.
        • Re: SS Spousal Benefit
          Surprised SS office doesn't give you a straight answer. Did you have an appointment with an adviser? Also, the Internet can give answers but SS rules are complex.

          Unless your spouse is dead, I don't think that you take benefits until 62 and that MAY be only if he is getting benefits. You need to get clear questions on your situation and insist on clear answers from SS. Always remember that in customer service situations you should always insist on escalating to a supervisor if you don't get the answers you need. 
          • Re: SS Spousal Benefit
            Forbes has an on lines series of articles available, from Fall 2011, that addresses this, and gives an example of a strategy in which one spouse files at 62 and immediately suspends his/her benefits, so his/her benefits can continue to grow by 8% annually up to age 70. In the example given, this "file and suspend" action enabled the other to claim a spousal benefit, as best I understand it.
            The timing of this may impact whether you can eventually claim your own benefit, again, as best I understand the examples I have seen cited on line. If your own benefit would be lower than the spousal benefit, that may not matter to you. You'd need to check on those projections. 
            Search on line for Forbes articles on the timing of social security benefits, and filing and suspending social security benefits, and that may help you. It may at least help formulate the questions to ask.
            I have read conflicting advice on this. One article said if you wait until your normal retirement age to claim a spousal benefit, then you can claim your own benefit, if higher, when you are 70. Another said that if you claim a spousal benefit, you cannot later switch to your own benefit. I would suggest that you ask the Social Security Administration advisor about what options you and your spouse have to "file and suspend," and what impact any receipt of a spousal benefit would have, if any, on your ability to claim your own benefit later, if it were, in face, higher than the spousal amount would be.