Being married in retirement necessitates the coordination of certain decisions, one of which is the application for Social Security. You can apply for benefits as early as age 62, albeit at a reduced rate. Meanwhile, your full monthly benefit will be available to you when you reach full retirement age, which is 66, 67, or somewhere in between, depending on your birth year.
There is also the option to postpone your filing until after FRA. Your benefits are increased by 8% for each year you work up to the age of 70.
You might be on the verge of lowering your Social Security filing age. Or perhaps you’re still unsure when to sign up for benefits. In any case, if you’re married, there are two critical questions you must ask and answer.
1. Does my spouse have to wait for me to file for Social Security before he or she can collect benefits?
It is possible to collect Social Security benefits without working or contributing to the system. Spousal benefits are provided by Social Security and allow current or former spouses of Social Security recipients to receive payments during retirement.
If you’re married to someone who never worked or worked only part-time and didn’t accumulate enough credits to qualify for Social Security on their own, they may be entitled to spousal benefits equal to up to half of the amount you’re entitled to. However, your partner cannot file for spousal benefits until you begin receiving Social Security benefits.
As a result, you should discuss the situation with your spouse to ensure that your plans are in sync with theirs. It’s possible that both you and your spouse have a FRA of 67, and that’s when your spouse wishes to retire. However, if you’re hoping to postpone benefits, your spouse’s retirement may be postponed as a result of having to wait on Social Security, so that’s a scenario worth discussing and planning for.
2. Will my spouse rely on my benefits after I die?
It’s possible that you and your spouse have amassed a multimillion-dollar nest egg that will pay you so much that your Social Security benefits will be nothing more than a bonus. If this is the case, your Social Security filing age may not be as important.
But if you don’t have any savings, it’s a different story. In that case, you should think about the consequences of signing up for Social Security too soon.
If you die, your spouse will be entitled to Social Security survivors benefits. However, unlike spousal benefits, which pay half of your benefit, survivors benefits pay the full amount if your spouse does not claim them first. As a result, the longer you wait to claim benefits, the more generous an income stream you may be able to leave your spouse with.
Discuss the situation.
Having open conversations is a good practise in all aspects of marriage, and this includes Social Security. Make time to talk about your Social Security plans with your spouse and make sure you’re both on the same page. You may need to adjust your plans, both individually and collectively, to assist one another in meeting various needs and goals. However, the great thing about Social Security is that it is extremely flexible, allowing you to file at a time that is convenient for both you and your life partner.
Most Retirees Look Over
If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on retirement savings. However, a few little-known “Social Security secrets” could help you increase your retirement income. For example, one simple trick could earn you up to $18,984 more per year! We believe that if you learn how to maximise your Social Security benefits, you will be able to retire confidently and with the peace of mind that we all seek.