You may be wondering if your wife can start collecting on your Social Security when she turns 62. Understanding your rights and options when it comes to Social Security can be complicated. This article will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
Eligibility for spousal benefits
Spousal Benefit Eligibility: Explained
Spousal benefits are available for married individuals who have not claimed their own benefits but are entitled to payments based on their spouse’s work record. To be eligible for spousal benefits, the spouse must be at least 62 years old and their partner must have already claimed their own Social Security benefits.
When applying for spousal benefits, the amount received is typically 50% of the spouse’s full retirement benefit. However, if the spouse claims before full retirement age, the amount will be reduced. Additionally, if the spouse continues working while receiving spousal benefits, their payment may be subject to income limitations.
It is important to note that divorced spouses may also be eligible for spousal benefits under certain circumstances, such as being married for at least 10 years and not remarried before age 60.
According to the Social Security Administration, as of December 2020, approximately 4.4 million spouses were receiving spousal benefits.
Understanding spousal benefit eligibility can help married individuals make informed decisions about their retirement plans.
Image credits: retiregenz.com by Harry Woodhock
Amount of spousal benefits
Spousal Benefits for Social Security
A spouse of an eligible individual can receive Social Security benefits based on their partner’s earnings, known as spousal benefits. Here is a breakdown of the amount of spousal benefits that a spouse can receive:
|Age of spouse
|Percentage of partner’s benefit
|Full retirement age
|70 or older
|50% plus delayed retirement credits earned by the partner
It is important to note that a spouse cannot receive more than 50% of their partner’s benefit amount. Additionally, if a spouse qualifies for their own Social Security benefit, they will receive either their own benefit or the spousal benefit, whichever is greater.
When a spouse applies for spousal benefits, they will be required to provide their own information as well as their partner’s information, including their Social Security number and proof of marriage. The application process can be completed online, in person, or over the phone.
If a spouse is still working when they apply for spousal benefits, their benefit amount may be reduced based on their earnings. However, once they reach full retirement age, their benefit amount will not be reduced regardless of their earnings.
To maximize spousal benefits, it may be beneficial to delay receiving Social Security benefits until reaching full retirement age or even to age 70, as this could result in a higher benefit amount for both partners. Consulting with a financial advisor can also provide personalized guidance on maximizing Social Security benefits.
Image credits: retiregenz.com by Adam Jones
Claiming spousal benefits
Spousal Benefits Eligibility for Social Security
When a person retires, their spouse may be eligible for social security benefits. The eligibility criteria for claiming spousal benefits are based on age, the length of the marriage, and the employment history of the working spouse. If married for more than ten years and the working spouse has earned the required number of credits, the spouse can claim benefits starting at the age of 62. The spousal benefits may be equal to half the working spouse’s benefits, but a person may receive benefits based on their own earnings or the spouse’s earnings, whichever is higher.
Spousal benefits are not automatic and require application. The working spouse must be at least 62 years old and have already filed for his/her own retirement benefits to claim spousal benefits. If the spouse claims benefits before reaching full retirement age, the benefits will be reduced. Spouses who have not reached full retirement age and continue to work may also have some of their benefits withheld if their earnings exceed a certain limit.
It is essential to note that the spouse claiming benefits based on their own earnings or the spouse’s earnings will not affect the other’s benefits. If the working spouse delays claiming benefits, the spousal benefits will not increase.
A real-life example of spousal benefits in action is when a woman who had been married for 20 years filed for social security benefits when she turned 62. Her husband had been a higher earner than she was, so she was eligible to receive spousal benefits equal to half of his benefits. These benefits allowed her to retire and travel, which was not possible for her otherwise.
Image credits: retiregenz.com by David Washington
FAQs about Can My Wife Collect On My Social Security When She Turns 62?
Can my wife collect on my social security when she turns 62?
Yes, if she is eligible for social security benefits and you have reached the age of eligibility. Your wife may be able to collect a spousal benefit of up to 50% of your full retirement benefit starting at age 62, regardless of whether you have retired or not.
Is there a minimum age difference required between spouses to collect social security?
No, there is no minimum age difference required between spouses to collect social security. As long as the spouse meets the eligibility requirements, they can collect a spousal benefit regardless of their age difference.
Can my wife collect on my social security even if she has never worked?
Yes, even if your wife has never worked, she may be eligible to collect a spousal benefit based on your social security earnings record. The spousal benefit is calculated based on 50% of your full retirement benefit.
Do I have to be retired to allow my wife to collect on my social security?
No, you do not have to be retired to allow your wife to collect on your social security. As long as you have reached the age of eligibility and are eligible for social security benefits, your wife can collect a spousal benefit based on your earnings record.
Can my wife collect on my social security if we are divorced?
Yes, if your marriage lasted for at least 10 years and your ex-wife is unmarried, she may be eligible to collect a spousal benefit based on your earnings record. This does not affect your own social security benefits.
Is there a limit to how much my wife can collect on my social security?
Yes, there is a maximum family benefit limit that applies to all benefits paid on one social security record. This limit varies depending on the number of family members eligible to receive benefits, but it is generally between 150% and 180% of your full retirement benefit amount.