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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Important Things To Know About Claiming Spousal Retirement Benefits

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Sep 30, 2022 | 0 Comments

Social Security's rules about claiming spousal retirement benefits are many and complicated. Spousal benefits are those taken by a person who is either married now or was married for at least ten years. Those people can collect Social Security benefits from their spouses' earnings records.  This would typically occur if the spouse has a much higher Social Security retirement benefit. At retirement, a person can claim either 100% of their own benefit or 50% of the spouse's benefit, whichever is higher.

What To Know

This Better Pay Off In The End.

Before deciding when to take spousal benefits, here are three critical things to know, courtesy of The Motley Fool

1. Claiming too soon can cost you a substantial amount of money. You can claim spousal benefits as early age 62. But doing so can drastically reduce your monthly benefit. Once incurred, the reduction in benefits is permanent and irreversible.

2. Claiming too late can also cost you money. The Social Security spousal benefit is capped at 50% of the spouse's benefit. Waiting past the full retirement age to begin collecting will not increase your retirement check. Waiting will only cost you benefits you would otherwise have received.

3.   If the spouse you are trying to collect benefits from has not filed for his or her own retirement benefits, you are out of luck. The spouse must first apply before she can. (If, however, you have been divorced for at least two years, this does not apply.) This can really complicate things. If she is doing well, for example, and wants to wait to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, but you are struggling, things could get tense.

Get Plenty Of Good Advice Before Making A Move

Deciding how and when and in what order to collect Social Security retirement benefits is hard. It is a financial decision that will affect you every month for

Wait, How Does This Work?

the rest of your life. So, think carefully. Consult with a financial planner. Try some of the online calculators. Only once you are sure you are making the best decision, should you apply for spousal retirement benefits.

For more on maximizing Social Security spousal retirement benefits, read this excellent article from Charles Schwab.

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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