Q: I would like to begin receiving Social Security benefits at age 62, and would like to know if I can apply only for spousal benefits on my husband’s record now and defer applying on my own record until it reaches its maximum when I turn 70. I will be 62 in December and my husband will be 65 next March.
A: No. You can’t qualify for spousal benefits on your husband’s Social Security record until he begins to receive them himself. If you apply for benefits before your husband begins his benefits, your application would apply only to benefits on your own record. When your husband begins to receive Social Security, you could then receive the difference, if any, between your full retirement age benefit and half of his full retirement age benefit.
If your husband is already receiving Social Security, your application for Social Security would apply to both your own benefit and your spouse’s benefit. Each would be reduced for early retirement.
If you defer applying for benefits until you reach your full retirement age, you have an additional option. You then could limit the scope of your application so that it is only for spousal benefits. Your own Social Security worker’s benefit would then continue to increase until you reach age 70 (unless you elect to receive these benefits earlier).
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Read Dr. Dodd's testimony to Senate Finance Committee
“I am fifty years old and the 27 years I have been working have been a combination of full-time and part-time employment, with several years of no employment so that I could stay home with my baby. I am back to work full-time now but want to know how all of this will affect my Social Security benefit when I am retired?”
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