5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2013 4:04 PM by EBL

    When to file

      I will be 66 next June and still work full time.  My ex earns significantly more than I so I planned to use his SS when I retire since we were married almost 25 years.  When should I file for SS and am I correct in my assumption that I can choose his or mine upon retirement?
        • Re: When to file
          You can choose if your spouse is deceased.  Check out the spousal benefits section at ssa.gov
          • Re: When to file
            I have the same circumstance.  My ex earned much more and I too plan on collecting on his SS when I reach full retirement age of 66.  He does not have to be decease for me to collect, however, the amount is equal to half of his benefit (approximately equal what mine would be at 66) and my benefit continues to grow at 8% per year, to age 70.  Prior to age 66 (full retirement age for me) I would have to take my benefit and would receive a additional amount, call it a bump up, to equal about half of his benefit but therefore using both benefits.  Waiting to 66 provides the same benefit amount but has the option of increasing my own benefit 8% per year for every year to age 70.  My $1200. benefit today would increase to $1632. by age 70.  Or $1296 @ 67, $1399 @ 68 etc.
            • Re: When to file
              If your full retirement age is 66, your eligibility will depend on how long you were married (25 years is enough) and whether or not, you re-married.  Also, if one is going to collect on the work history or either an ex-spouse or a spouse, that spouse must either already be collecting Social Security or must do what is called a "file-and -suspend"  in order for you to start collecting. Your ex-spouse will need to do the file and suspend if he is still working and hasn't started his social security yet. I think he may need to be full retirement age, too. Your ex-spouse does NOT have to be dead in order for you to collect on his or her record.
              You may want to start subscribing to the Kiplinger Retirement Letter (they have multiple kinds of newletters, so don't get the wrong one).  It will help you start learning about crucial issues concerning social security. Unfortunately, it isn't enough to rely only on the people who work for social security, because they sometimes get it wrong, too. A SS agent told me that if you worked, you have to collect on your own history first. But that may not be the case once you are full retirement age.  However, it is good to ask the SS people, but then do more research just to be sure because not all people at your local office have the same level of expertise.  Kiplinger Retirement Letter is an excellent resource.