Social Security Spousal Benefits Rules: Retirement Income For the One You Love

Early Retirement and the Social Security Spousal Benefit

If you begin collecting the spousal benefit before you reach full retirement age, the benefit is permanently reduced over your life time. Before electing this option, it’s important to understand the implications by having the reduced benefit so early on in your life.

Advantages for Married Couples and Social Security Benefits

If you’re a married couple and can’t afford to postpone receiving your social security benefits, you can use a strategy to help maximize the amount of social security benefits you receive over the long term.  The technique is called the “62/70 Strategy”, and it makes use of the social security spousal benefits.

The spouse who earned less over their lifetime will file for social security benefits at 62 while the higher earning spouse delays his or her benefits until the age of 70 when the maximum benefit will be received.  The higher earning spouse’s benefit will continue to grow.

If one of you should pass away, the smaller social security benefit will die off as well – leaving the survivor with the higher paying benefit.  When the higher-earning spouse reaches the age of 70, you drop the social security spousal benefits, and start collecting the larger benefit of the higher earning spouse.

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