Q: My husband is 60 years old, and I am 55. He is interested in turning his Social Security retirement income on at 62 and he will probably receive max Social Security retirement benefit due to his high earnings throughout his career. I was a stay-at-home mother with little earnings. What are my social security benefits if any?
A: The answer is probably easiest to follow with some assumptions about numbers. The calculation of spousal benefits starts with understanding the husband’s projected benefit at full retirement age (FRA). This is true even if the husband actually starts collecting his own retirement benefits early.
If his FRA benefits is $3K/month, the base spousal benefit would be $1,500/month.
FRA for the non-working spouse is age 67, and she is eligible to claim benefits as early as attaining age 62. If she claims at 62 (five years early) then
Note that taking social security early in this case means a lower benefit for both the husband and the wife and will decrease her survivor benefit as well. This may not be the optimal claiming strategy!
Patrick Huey is a small business owner and the author of two books on history and finance as well as the highly-rated recently-released fictional work Hell: A Novel. As owner of Victory Independent Planning, LLC, Patrick works with families and non-profit organizations. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® and an Accredited Tax Preparer. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University.