Social Security Q&A: What Will My Wife’s Early Spousal Benefit Be?

SS photo cropped

Question: I started collecting Social Security at age 65. I was born in 1944. My wife has never worked and is 60 years old. I earn $2,170 per month. If my wife starts taking spousal benefits at 62, how much will she receive and when can she apply for Medicare?

Answer: Your spouse, if she has no work record on her own, will collect around $820 per month. This is her full spousal benefit (which equals half of your full retirement benefit), but reduced by 30 percent because she will be taking her spousal benefit four years before full retirement age.

However, if your wife did have her own work record, she would, when she filed for her early spousal benefit, be deemed to be also filing for her retirement benefit. In this case, she’d get what amounts to roughly the larger of the two benefits. Hence, she might not receive any spousal benefit whatsoever. But if she waited until full retirement age, deeming would no longer apply, and she could file just for her unreduced spousal benefit.

Then, at 70, she could file for her own retirement benefit, which would be 76 percent larger (after inflation) than were she to collect her retirement benefit at 62. If her age-70 retirement benefit exceeded her unreduced spousal benefit, she’d collect it since it’d be the larger of the two. If it’s less, she’d just continue, after reaching age 70, to collect her full (unreduced) spousal benefit.


When it comes to personal finance, economics and our software care about one thing—your living standard. All questions in personal finance boil down to your living standard. Your decision about when and how to take Social Security can affect your living standard throughout your retirement.

I am a professor of economics and I’ve spent a good part of my academic career studying personal financial behavior. Here’s why my colleagues and I developed Maximize My Social Security. Deciding, on your own, which Social Security benefits to take and in which month to take them is incredibly difficult. Most households face millions of options. You can easily lose tens of thousands of dollars making the wrong choices.

My company’s software, Maximize My Social Security, can help you avoid costly mistakes and instead discover your maximized lifetime household benefits.

Share This Post

Related Articles

Powered by WordPress · Designed by Theme Junkie
Facebook IconTwitter Icon