Ask Terry Questions Spousal Benefits for SS

Spousal Benefits for SS

By Terry Savage on September 03, 2018 | Financial Planning / Retirement

When my wife applied for her benefits the person helping us asked if I wanted to apply for spousal benefits based on her application. We had never heard of Spousal Benefits and if the person from the Social Security Administration hadn’t asked we never would have known.

I recently received a Schwab investor magazine with the article “Seven questions about Social Security” and there was nothing about these benefits. Why aren’t these benefits ever mentioned?

Terry Says

If you don’t qualify for SS benefits on your own record, you can claim on your spouse’s record. But your benefits will never be more than HALF your spouse’s benefit. They will check to see which is larger, and pay you the larger amount. Regardless, you should wait until YOUR full retirement age to claim spousal benefits!
To learn more about spousal benefits, click on this link to the Spousal Benefits page at

I should note that if you were born before Jan 2, 1954, you might have additional options to take a spousal benefit, and delay taking your own larger benefit until you are required to do so at age 70.

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