JBL Financial Blog

Social Security Spousal Benefits

Erin Lapidus Monday, June 18, 2018

Social Security. One of the most complicated questions in retirement planning.  We received a question the other day that felt worth sharing to us. It begins as follows: 

"I am a year older than my wife. I plan to defer claiming SS for at least 2 years. If at that time, my benefit is 16% greater than base, and my wife claims the spousal benefit at the same time, will her benefit include the extra 16% or will it only increase 8% due to her being a year younger? I typically listen to your show from 10:20 - 11:00 on Saturdays. "

So how did we respond? First off, of course, thank you for listening to the show! Then we broke it down, as the coaches do: 

The spousal benefit is based on two things:

(1)    Your benefit at normal retirement age

(2)    Your wife’s age when she claims the spousal benefit

You mentioned you are one year older than your wife, also that you are waiting two years to claim your social security – I am assuming that means you are going to defer your benefit until you are 68 meaning your wife would be 67.  In this scenario, she would receive the full 50% of your benefit. The spousal benefit does not allow for her to receive more than 50% of your benefit at normal retirement age, so she does not benefit from any of the additional increases to your benefit after normal retirement age.

Are you finding yourself needing help answering these questions? If so, never hesitate to reach out to us via email, our website contact forms, or by phone and we will help you! As my dad always says on the show, "We've got plenty of things in our mind - but what's more important is what's on yours". 


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