You would be surprised the number of couples we see where the Mom did not work, or barely worked, and does not know if there are any options available regarding Social Security. If married and your husband qualifies for benefits, yes you do. Many rules and regulations to wade through but don’t lose heart!
I qualify for benefits but have 7 zero’s in my Earning History where I stayed at home with the kids – this adversely affects my benefit amount. These 7 zero’s are included in my top 35 years of Earnings History and are calculated, with factoring, to determine my benefit. So, just maybe, I need to look at filing a different way.
Upon reaching age 62, even if you have no work history of your own, you can begin receiving a benefit as the spouse of someone who is entitled to a retirement or disability benefit; the requirements are that you have been married to your spouse for at least one year, that your spouse has filed for his/her own benefit (exceptions for ex-spouses), and you cannot claim spousal benefits if you have filed for your own retirement benefit and your benefit amount is greater than one-half of your spouse’s primary insurance amount. If you wait until Full Retirement Age to file for this benefit, it will be 50% of your spouse’s primary insurance amount. Filing for this benefit early, could result in a reduction as high as 30%.
Unlike Social Security retirement benefits, the spousal benefit does not increase if you wait to take benefits beyond your full retirement age, currently age 66 for most retirees. Thus, there is no advantage in waiting beyond your full retirement age to start taking your spousal benefit.
Also, if your spouse has suspended their benefits, you will not be entitled to a spousal benefit until they start drawing again.
These benefits are called auxiliary benefits and were created to acknowledge the support you provided for your family during your working years – such as homemaking assistance, child rearing, transportation and all the other things necessary for a family to function properly. This is one of the strengths of the Social Security system – providing for family benefits.
Caution – if you are entitled to two different benefits such as spousal, ex-spouse, widower, or your own, please make sure you know which benefit to file for first – we refer to these people at DUALIES – dually entitled and you could possibly be making a huge mistake if you don’t know which direction to take.
Pillars LLC is in the Corinth, MS area but service all 50 states. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of over 40 years. You may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, on their website at www.pillarsllc.com or call at 601-954-0699. KNOW before you GO!!