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Mark620
Level 2

Spouse start SS

My wife and I are both 64. I am the primary income earner and plan to wait till 70 to start SS. My wife has a small estimated payment on her own. Should she start SS at FRA or wait till age 70 like me? The difference in FRA and 70 for her is minimal. What if I die first, does it matter what she signed up for? Thanks. 

3 Replies
Destiny_Y_JD
Employee Tax Expert

Spouse start SS

There are a few questions I see in your posting. First let me say that choosing when to start receiving retirement benefits is an important and personal decision. No matter the age you retire, contact Social Security in advance to learn your choices and make the best decision. 

As far as when you die your spouse would receive benefits under widow/widower  Widows and
widowers can take reduced benefits on one record, and then switch to full benefits on another record later. 
As far as spouses benefits, the benefit increases the longer you wait to receive benefits, up to the maximum of 50 percent at full retirement age. 
One important thing to note is found in https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10035.pdf page 8. "NOTE: Your current spouse can’t get spouse’s benefits until you file for retirement benefits."

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Duby2010
Level 1

Spouse start SS

I have about the same situation. My financial advisor said to go ahead and start the wife’s Ssa then when I file she would get bumped up to half of my amount ( a reason for you to wait as long as you can). 

Mark620
Level 2

Spouse start SS

Thank you Duby2010. That is what I was hoping for.  My wife starts collecting at FRA and I wait till 70, then she switches over to spouse benefits (50%) when I start collecting. Seems like we are leaving money on the table if we don't do that. That is 3.5 years of income for her.  Sound right?

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