Social Security benefits can provide you with a reliable stream of retirement income. Deciding when to take benefits is an important question, especially if you are married and hope to qualify for spousal benefits. If you’re already taking Social Security, you may be wondering if you can switch to spousal benefits later. The answer depends on whether your spouse is receiving Social Security benefits.
A Financial advisor As part of your full retirement plan, it will help you determine how eligible you are and when is the best time to start taking benefits.
How do Social Security spousal benefits work?
Calculation of social security benefits It’s a little different as a couple than as a single person. When a person files for Social Security benefits, their spouse can claim spousal benefits. Benefits are based on the spouse’s contributions to Social Security and cover 50% of their benefits when they reach full retirement age. For example, if they earn $2,200 per month throughout retirement age, their spouse will earn $1,100 more per month.
To get Social Security benefits for your spouse, you must:
Be at least 62 or the earliest age to receive Social Security benefits
Be a caregiver for a child under the age of 16 or a foster child Social Security disability benefits
Married for at least one year to the person who provided their pension benefits
When you apply for spousal benefits, the Social Security Administration calculates your benefits based on your own work and earnings record. If you are eligible for retirement benefits and spousal benefits, you will receive the higher of the two.
If your spouse has not yet filed for retirement, then you will not be able to receive spousal benefits. But if you are at least 62 years old, you can apply for your own retirement benefits.
Taking Social Security at age 62 It will reduce your benefit amount, below the amount you would have received if you had waited until you reached full retirement age. Delaying benefits until age 70, on the other hand, increases your benefit amount.
If you are applying for spousal benefits and file before filing Retirement age, then your benefit rate will be approximately 30% instead of 50%. The only exception is if you are claiming spousal benefits and you are the carer of a child under 16 or a disabled child.
Can I convert my Social Security benefit to a spousal benefit?
If you hope to switch from a regular pension to a spousal benefit, this is something you may want to consider. Increase social security benefits. Whether or not you can change this depends on whether your spouse is receiving benefits.
If your spouse isn’t receiving any retirement benefits yet, they can technically take regular Social Security benefits at age 62. If you’re waiting until age 70 to start taking benefits, that can increase the total amount of benefits you receive as a married couple.
What if your spouse is already receiving Social Security benefits? In this case, the estimated application rule will be applied. This law stipulates that when a person applies for a regular pension, they will be allowed spousal benefits if they are entitled to them. So again, you get the maximum of the two.
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Presumptive filing and spousal benefits
The Social Security Administration has implemented filing rules intended to prevent double dipping. Before the rule, if the spousal benefit was higher than the individual benefit, the person could receive a benefit equal to the benefit. Presumptive filing prevents spouses from receiving one type of retirement benefit and delays another type of benefit.
There are some exceptions to this rule, which still allow you to apply Spouse benefits Independent of your own pension benefit. You may qualify for an exception if you:
They were born before January 2, 1954.
You are caring for a child under 16 or a child with a disability.
They are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
If you are already taking pension benefits and your spouse is receiving spousal benefits, if they were born before January 2, 1954, you can choose to switch to their pension benefits. In this case, you can apply for an additional application. A spousal benefit on top of your regular benefits after their benefits have been turned in.
When should you claim spousal benefits?
Timing is important when deciding when to claim spousal benefits. one more time, Taking benefits before full retirement age It may reduce the number of benefits you are eligible to receive. However, delaying spousal benefits beyond full retirement age does not increase the amount of the benefit, which provides regular retirement benefits.
When deciding how to allocate spousal benefits or time Retirement Benefits, helps to see and consider the bigger picture:
Expect life expectancy and how long you and your spouse can expect to receive Social Security benefits
Health and the possibility that one or both of you will need long-term care at some point
Retirement budget and estimated expenses
Living longer, for example, can make delaying Social Security benefits more attractive. On the other hand, if you don’t have enough savings and Investments Then sooner or later you may need the extra income that Social Security provides.
If you’re confused about when to take spousal benefits or whether you can switch pension benefits to spousal benefits, get in touch. Financial advisor It can help. An advisor familiar with Social Security plans can help you determine the right time to claim these benefits.
Social Security retirement benefits can be converted to spousal benefits if your spouse has not yet filed. Whether it’s worth doing this will depend on your current age and the age at which you each file for benefits.
As a general rule, the longer you can delay filing for Social Security, the better. A large amount of benefit.
Retirement planning tips
If your spouse plans to claim their own benefits, talk to your financial advisor about switching from your pension to spousal benefits. If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, finding one isn’t difficult. with SmartAsset’s free tool, It matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you are ready to find an advisor to help you achieve your financial goals, Start now.
Talking with your advisor can help you come up with a strategy for coordinating Social Security with other sources of income, such as a pension plan, annuity, 401(k) or government retirement benefits. Deciding when to tap into each income stream can affect your tax situation, so understanding the best order to withdraw assets is critical. A counselor can give advice How to claim Social Security benefits as a former spouse If you are now divorced.
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