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Social Security

I’m 64 and plan to retire at 70. I have the maximum number of SS credits. My wife is 62 and a homemaker who has the minimum # of SS credits.

when should she file for SS?

2 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

Social Security

Hi Keithc2!

We can't tell  you when your spouse should start claiming Social Security, but here are the facts on how they can get their own Social Security plus more as a spouse based on your Social Security. And how their age affects those benefits:

So generally your spouse would need to qualify to claim Social Security as a spouse:


How Much Will My Spouse Receive?

If your spouse qualifies for benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

The benefits for your spouse do not include any delayed retirement credits you may receive.

If they begin receiving benefits:

If your spouse was born before January 2, 1954, and has already reached full retirement age, they can choose to receive only the spouse's benefit and delay receiving their own retirement benefit until a later date. If your spouse is full retirement age and applying for spouse’s benefits only, they can apply online by using the retirement application.

If your spouse’s birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If your spouse files for one benefit, they will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits.

If your spouse will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security such as government employment, the amount of their Social Security benefits on your record may be reduced.

Your spouse can also receive spouse's benefits at any age if they are caring for your child under age 16 or who became disabled before age 22, and is entitled to benefits.

Benefits paid to your spouse will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.


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Employee Tax Expert

Social Security

Choosing the optimum time to claim Social Security is the purview of a Financial Planner since many unknowns such as life expectancy, emergency spending, inflation, return on investments, etc  would have to be forecasted with specialized software. 

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