Married Couple (reduced benefits/restricted application)

Questions & AnswersCategory: Spousal BenefitsMarried Couple (reduced benefits/restricted application)
bsd09250909 asked 2 months ago

Social Security Strategy – Married Couple

Husband: DOB— 2/13/53— $3100 FRA

Wife: DOB— 4/6/57— $1350 FRA

Wife files for reduced benefits at 62,

Husband files restricted application for spousal benefits same year.

Husband then files for own benefits at 66 or even 70 and

Wife then receives increased spousal benefits that same year.

Is this permissible? Where can I find more information regarding this strategy?

Any any guidance/information would be helpful

Thank you

1 Answers
Devin Carroll answered 2 months ago

As soon as the wife files for benefits, the husband will be able to file an application for a ‘spousal only’ benefits. At 70, he could switch back to his own which should be substantially higher due to delayed retirement credits. (Important Note: This strategy is only available to those born before January 2, 1954. For more indepth information, see my article: Social Security Claiming Strategies: Who Can Still Use Them?)

Once the husband switches back to his own benefit, the wife will be entitled to spousal benefits.

When calculating how much the wife will receive, it’s important to note that her own benefit will be reduced for the age she files, and the spousal benefit will be reduced by the age she becomes entitled to it (most likely when he switches back to his own benefit).

This strategy doesn’t always make sense! As part of your decision, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how spousal benefits are calculated.

Check out my article Social Security Spousal Benefits: What You Need To Know and my video How To Calculate Spousal Benefits (the RIGHT way).