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Social security based on my wife's income.

I briefly glanced at a Yahoo Finance article a couple of months' back about maximizing social security income. It says a person whose spouse only is already receiving social security income can file to get half of the spouse' payment. And then later when that person, assuming he/her made a higher income, can file based on his/her own income.
Is that possible? If so what's the process? I check the SS web site and can't seem to find any info on this.
Reply to
PeterL
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Reply to
Bill
It is my understanding that the spouse must be past the normal retirement age (currently 66) to be able to choose which earnings record to file on. Before that age, they must file on the higher of their own record or their spouse's.
But that is my current plan. I'll file on my wife's record when I turn 66, then my own at 70. That money from 66 to 70 is free money. It doesn't lower either my wife's payments or mine when I turn 70. So I get the benefit of higher payments by waiting until 70 and still get some money (half my wife's payment) from 66 to 70.
-- Doug
Reply to
Douglas Johnson
I am also doing that like Bill and Douglas. It was a pain when I did it because it wasn't well documented and some SS staff weren't familiar with it. My Medicare card then uses a suffix on my wife's SS number instead of my SS number. See
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Make sure that you have an a permanent account, like with your stock broker, to have your checks deposited because it takes a while to change accounts for deposits and it's almost impossible unless you sign up for internet access. See
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-- Ron
Reply to
Ron Peterson
then
Do you have a link to that? I talked to my local SS office and they don't seem to think I can do it (I am under 66), and they didn't say anything about the age 66 time line.
Reply to
PeterL
See
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Great thanks. I have an appmt tomorrow with SS. On talking to them on the phone they don't seem to know about this. I am printing a copy of this link and taking it with me to the appmt.
Reply to
PeterL
I am surprised. Both of the people I talked to at the 800 number were very familiar with spousal benefits and so was the representative I met with at my local social security office. In most households one spouse or the other files for spousal benefits so it is not unusual.
--
 .Bill.
Reply to
Bill
He kept saying benefits are based on a person's income, not the spouse's. I thought that was a strange response.
Reply to
PeterL
Strange indeed. If you encounter a problem like that again ask to speak to a supervisor. The few times I have had to do that it has put me in touch with a more experienced and knowedgeable person.
--
 .Bill.
Reply to
Bill
OK I had my appointment with SS. The consultant says I can only get spousal benefits after I am 66. Anyone disagrees with that determination?
Reply to
PeterL
Yes - these folks say "You must be age 62 to qualify for either type of social security benefit." See
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Reply to
bo peep
The link I posted earlier,
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, says:
"Another requirement is that the spouse must be at least age 62 or have a qualifying child in her/his care."
A bit further down the page where you are asked to enter the the effective month and year for which you would like to begin receiving benefits it also says:
"You must be at least age 62 to begin receiving benefits."
That seems to clearly state that the age limit for the spouse is 62 and if 62 is incorrect they are certainly consistent with the error.
At
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the following appears at the top of the page.
"Even if he or she has never worked under Social Security, your spouse
* can begin collecting the benefits as early as age 62. However, if the benefit begins early, the amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to his or her full retirement age."
I would request a specific citation in the social security regulations to support the 66 that they quoted.
--
 .Bill.
Reply to
Bill
You can get full spousal benefits at that age. See
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to determine what you will get if you retire earlier.
-- Ron
Reply to
Ron Peterson
Perhaps that was "full spousal benefits," and you will reach full retirement age after age 66? (the full benefit only comes if you start collecting it at full retirement age; it's permanently reduced if you begin collecting it before then)
Or, perhaps the spouse whose record you'll be claiming benefits on hasn't started SS yet, and will begin collecting it after you are age 66? (you can only collect spousal benefits once the "primary" spouse has filed for them)
Someone posted a link, the SS site has tons of info about this...it is a bit confusing because of the various trigger dates/ages:
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-Tad
Reply to
Tad Borek

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