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Broomer

Younger Spouse Strategy

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My spouse is 1 year younger then me and was low income worker. Her FRA benefit at age 67 is estimated at $550. My FRA benefit at age 67 (1 year after her) is $3900. In order to maximize our Social security benefits I was planning on her taking her benefit at her FRA for the one year before I turn 67. She will receive the $550 per month for 1 year. When I turn 67 the following year,  I would being taking my FRA social security of $3900 and my wife would immediately file for her 50% spousal benefit of $1950. That would come from her $550 plus the spousal top off of $1,400. Does this look correct? Also if she starting taking her benefit at age 62 and received a lower amount it is my understanding that this would reduce her spousal top off. 

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Hi Broomer...it sounds like you have it mostly correct. One thing to note is that until you file for your benefits, she will not be eligible for her spousal benefit. This means that if she doesn't become eligible for that benefit until her FRA, the spousal top off amount will not be reduced. Check out this video for more details on how this calculation works. 

 

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Devin thanks for the reply. I think I understand it correctly. My main question is there is no issue with my wife claiming her own benefit for one year and then once I start claiming my benefit (1 year later) at my full FRA,  she can switch to receiving the spousal benefit which is 50% of mine. The plan would be - she claims her benefit of about $550 per month in Sept of 2028 when she is 67. I will claim my FRA benefit of $3,900/month in August of 2029 when I turn 67. My wife would then file to switch from her benefit to the spousal benefit (50% of mine) which would be $1,950. I wanted to make sure that she is not locked into her benefit if she starts taking it and that she can switch to the spousal benefit once I start taking it. This seems like the best strategy to maximize our benefits. 

Edited by Broomer

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