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Thread: Social Security Question for anyone who knows

  1. #1

    Social Security Question for anyone who knows

    I'm not there yet, but my question is the following: When you've been married for over 10 years you are able to get half of what your spouse gets. Example is if my spouse gets $3000 at 67, I'd get $1500 even if I'd be getting less without her.

    So if you start taking social security at age 62 and get whatever amount you'd get individually, do you then get bumped up to half of your spouses if she waits till 67 to start taking hers and you are now 67 as well?

    Numbers example is I'd be getting $700 at age 62 but once I start taking it, would I bump up to half of hers at age 67. Financial advisor didn't know for sure.

    Has anyone had this experience?

    Thank you very much
    Life is a gift, not a guarantee.

  2. #2
    I've read enough to have a plan for myself and my wife. Our situation is a lot different than yours. I suggest you read up on this and perhaps you need an advisor who knows the ins and outs of SS. There are lots of strategies for different situations and you want o make sure you see all the options for you. My 2 cents.

    Good luck Ron

  3. #3
    Thanks Ron. I've truly been reading and searching but haven't found the answer yet. My financial advisor knew some stuff, but not my question. I appreciate the response.
    Life is a gift, not a guarantee.

  4. #4
    Hi David - like others, I don't know the answer to your exact question. I am now able to collect SS but my circumstances are much different than yours. My suggestion is to call Social Security yourself. I called them with a number of questions before I made retirement decisions. The bad news is that you will wait on hold for a long time (45 minutes-ish). The good news is that the people i got on the phone to talk to me were pleasant, knowledgeable, answered many questions, went through lengthy explanations including numbers, and then followed it up with written correspondence via mail. I was pleasantly very surprised for a government agency. The other reason I suggest you call yourself is that I found many people that "knew a lot" about Social Security, my financial planner included, but none of them knew it well enough to make me comfortable with major decisions around SS. Good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Cramer View Post
    I'm not there yet, but my question is the following: When you've been married for over 10 years you are able to get half of what your spouse gets. Example is if my spouse gets $3000 at 67, I'd get $1500 even if I'd be getting less without her.

    So if you start taking social security at age 62 and get whatever amount you'd get individually, do you then get bumped up to half of your spouses if she waits till 67 to start taking hers and you are now 67 as well?

    Numbers example is I'd be getting $700 at age 62 but once I start taking it, would I bump up to half of hers at age 67. Financial advisor didn't know for sure.

    Has anyone had this experience?

    Thank you very much

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    561
    Try calling your local SS office rather than the national 1-800 number. We have had better luck with our local office than the national number. Spousal benefits are very complicated. We have encountered numerous problems because of them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    185
    In our situation my wife retired at 62, with a reduced amount for retiring early. I waited another 4 years to retire at 65+ years old. She was due a higher amount due to being eligible based on my amount of SS but since she had retired early she did get an increase in her SS but it was reduced due to her early retirement. It cost her around $300 per month less than if she had waited. But on the other hand she received SS for 4 years

  7. #7
    My wife started collecting at 62. I started collecting last month and she was also bumped to have of mine. So, yes. that is how it works.

    Jack
    Quote Originally Posted by David Cramer View Post
    I'm not there yet, but my question is the following: When you've been married for over 10 years you are able to get half of what your spouse gets. Example is if my spouse gets $3000 at 67, I'd get $1500 even if I'd be getting less without her.

    So if you start taking social security at age 62 and get whatever amount you'd get individually, do you then get bumped up to half of your spouses if she waits till 67 to start taking hers and you are now 67 as well?

    Numbers example is I'd be getting $700 at age 62 but once I start taking it, would I bump up to half of hers at age 67. Financial advisor didn't know for sure.

    Has anyone had this experience?

    Thank you very much

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Lemley View Post
    My wife started collecting at 62. I started collecting last month and she was also bumped to have of mine. So, yes. that is how it works.

    Jack

    Thanks for *all* of the responses, I greatly appreciate it. I will call my local office if I can actually get through to someone. Jack seems to have had the same situation and it works the way I was hoping. Thank you all!
    Life is a gift, not a guarantee.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,388
    I'm curious, what is the logic behind increasing your benefit beyond what you're normally entitled to just because your spouse gets more? Up here we get Old Age Security, usually referred to as OAS when we turn 65 based how many years we lived in Canada and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) based on our income history in Canada (we pay into it thru payroll taxes). We can draw CPP early at a reduced rate but not OAS. Neither depend on what our spouse gets.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    3,193
    It's a fairness thing, and a desire to not penalize work. If you'd never worked and were entitled to a spousal benefit of $900, but only received $700 because you had worked, a lot of people would be justifiably unhappy.

    My experience of calling SSA, aside from the wait time to connect, has also been excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    I'm curious, what is the logic behind increasing your benefit beyond what you're normally entitled to just because your spouse gets more? Up here we get Old Age Security, usually referred to as OAS when we turn 65 based how many years we lived in Canada and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) based on our income history in Canada (we pay into it thru payroll taxes). We can draw CPP early at a reduced rate but not OAS. Neither depend on what our spouse gets.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,388
    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    It's a fairness thing, and a desire to not penalize work. If you'd never worked and were entitled to a spousal benefit of $900, but only received $700 because you had worked, a lot of people would be justifiably unhappy.

    My experience of calling SSA, aside from the wait time to connect, has also been excellent.
    Not sure I would call that fair. Two people retire with identical income histories, the married one gets more because their of their spouse's income history?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    5,069
    My mother did not work 40 quarters before retirement so my parents thought she would not going any Social Security benefits. They planned on just my father's Social Security for retirement income. It turns out she gets a benefit of half of my father's Social Security and then she gets my father's full benefit if he should die first.

    Married couples tend to get a number of advantages under our tax laws good or bad.
    Last edited by Brian Elfert; 11-30-2022 at 2:54 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    12,200
    Quote Originally Posted by David Cramer View Post
    Thanks for *all* of the responses, I greatly appreciate it. I will call my local office if I can actually get through to someone. Jack seems to have had the same situation and it works the way I was hoping. Thank you all!
    If you have a SS office near you can make an appointment to talk to someone in person without waiting. We did that when applying for our son. My wife said when she had questions about the spouse benefits she got online and asked a question and a very helpful person called her.

    When she quit working but delayed drawing SS on her account she was able to draw an amount equal to 1/2 of mine in the meantime. She said the details depended on our ages, when we each retired, the way she signed up, and possibly some hand waving, too confusing to pick the best options without some guidance from SS.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    Posts
    890
    When we had questions, called the local SS office, rather than wait we could leave a number and they would call us..... much more convenient and they called within an hour... was very helpful also..

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Montfort, Wi.
    Posts
    650
    We also used our local SS office. Extremally helpful and knowledgeable.

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