Most people know that Social Security checks increase if you delay in claiming them.
As you become eligible for retirement benefits at age 62, at least waiting for your full retirement age (FRA) increases your benefits because you avoid penalties for early reporting. And waiting even longer to start after FRA will also increase the size of your monthly checks up to age 70 because of the deferred retirement credits you can earn.
Because of these rules, retirees who hope to receive the highest monthly benefit would have to wait up to age 70 to claim it – in most cases. But there is one important exception to this rule, and you need to know what it is so that you don’t leave money on the table.
Retirees shouldn’t wait 70 years to claim social security benefits in this situation
If you claim spousal benefits, rather than pretending Social Security on your own working record, there is absolutely no reason to delay the start of your tests until age 70 if you are entitled to them earlier.
This is because you cannot under any circumstances earn deferred retirement credits for spousal benefits.
Spousal benefits are based on your spouse’s employment history. You are entitled to it if you are married, or if you are divorced after a marriage that lasted at least 10 years. They can be an invaluable source of income if you haven’t accumulated enough work credits to qualify for benefits on your own, or if your income was very low and your own benefit is not worth much.
Your spouse’s pension can reach up to half of the amount of your spouse’s pension at full retirement age. If you apply for your spouse’s benefit before your the full retirement age, you reduce the amount and get less. But once you hit your FRA, there is no reason to delay beyond 70 years before you start your benefits, as you won’t get a monthly income increase for doing so.
Of course you must be eligible for spousal benefits at your full retirement age in order to claim them later. If you are still married, this eligibility depends not only on your marital status but also on whether your spouse has requested his own already have retirement benefits. This rule does not apply to those who are divorced, however. Divorced people can apply for their spousal benefits on their own schedule, regardless of what their ex is doing.
If you are still married and your partner has not yet started receiving Social Security retirement checks, you will have to wait until they do so before you can collect your monthly spouse’s allowance, even if you have already reached yours. full retirement age. Unfortunately, if that means you have to wait past your FRA, you still won’t see your monthly checks increase due to the delay.
Ultimately, if you’re married and applying for spousal benefits, as soon as you reach full retirement age, it’s time for you to claim your monthly Social Security money if you can. Otherwise, you needlessly lose income that is owed to you with no benefit to you down the road.