Today’s question asks if claiming a spouse’s benefit after full retirement age will lower a retirement benefit not claimed till 69 or 70. The answer offers advice concerning what to do immediately and when to file for the retirement benefit.
Question: My husband retired at 65 and applied for Social Security in August. I am 67, still working part time and waiting to apply for Social Security. The Social Security representative suggested I apply for spousal benefits, which I did. It was my understanding that applying for the spousal benefits over age 66 would not affect my benefits when I retire at 69 or 70. Is this correct or should I not have applied?
Answer: Yes, you should immediately apply for a full spousal benefit (half your husband’s full retirement benefit) and, if you can, wait until 70 to collect your own retirement benefit. Depending on your work record, your total check at age 70 may rise since you’ll get the larger of either your age-70 retirement benefit or your full spousal benefit.