September 24, 2021

Ask Larry: Am I Eligible For Social Security Spouse Benefits?

Today’s column addresses the question of when to get Social Security spouse benefits, why a person’s Social Security income record may have no income for many years, and how much benefits will be reduced by applying for them in advance. Larry Kotlikoff is a professor of economics at Boston University and the founder and president of Economic Security Planning, Inc, which markets Maximize My Social Security and MaxiFi Planner.
See more responses to Larry here.
Is there a question about social security you want to answer? Ask Larry about social security here.
Am I eligible for social security spouse benefits?
Hello, Larry, I will be 63 years old in September 2021. My husband is 76 years old and he participated in SSDI when he was 64 years old. His current benefits are approximately US$2,550. He is in poor health and I want to retire when I am 63 years old. At the time, my own income was about $ 880 a month.
Am I eligible, should I apply for my spouse’s benefits or my own retirement benefits? Are my spouse’s benefits calculated on the basis of his current benefits, or on the basis of 10 years ago if he did not retire early? I’m confused! Will survivor benefits be provided? I don’t know if the question I asked is correct! Thanks, Abby
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Hello Abby, because you were born on 1 / 1/1954, When you apply for spouse benefits or your own social security retirement benefits, it will be deemed to apply at the same time. Spouse benefits are calculated based on 50% of the basic worker insurance amount (PIA). If a person begins receiving benefits at full retirement age (FRA), their PIA equals their Social Security retirement benefit rate or the SSDI benefit rate that is not reduced.
Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits are paid at 100% of the worker’s PIA, provided they did not receive reduced Social Security retirement benefits prior to being eligible for SSDI benefits.
If you are applying for benefits in the FRA and your husband was still alive, you will receive spouse benefits, which will be your own PIA or 50% of your husband’s PIA, whichever is greater. However, if you start drawing before FRA, your benefits will be reduced due to age. By the way, a person’s PIA will be adjusted to reflect the Social Security Cost of Living Increase (COLA), so your spouse’s rate will be calculated based on your husband’s current rate when you apply for benefits.
Withdrawing reduced benefits before FRA will not reduce your future rate of widow’s benefits, as long as you do not start withdrawing widow’s benefits before FRA. The unreduced widow’s benefit rate is calculated based on 100% of the deceased spouse’s monthly benefit rate, so if you are eligible for the widow’s benefit in or after the FRA, you will be eligible for the benefit rate. her husband’s total, including Coca-Cola.
You will not get your full rate and your own retirement benefit rate at the same time, but the higher of the two. If you start receiving reduced benefits and your spouse dies before you reach the FRA, you can choose to a) withdraw only your reduced retirement benefits until you reach the FRA, at which point you can apply for unreduced widow’s benefits, or ) Apply to reduce the benefits of widows.
It sounds like you might want to consider using our company’s software, Maximize My Social Security or MaxiFi Planner, to fully analyze your available options and determine the best strategy to maximize your benefits. Social security calculators provided by other companies or non-profit organizations, if carefully constructed, can provide appropriate advice. Sincerely, Larry
Why is there zero in my social security income record?
Hi, Larry, I have been self-employed for many years and I file my taxes every year. There are some zeros, for example, the past four years. Why is this happening? Should I do something about it? Will the amount of my payment affect when I retire? Thanks, Greg
Hi Greg, Income from self-employment is reported on SE form of personal tax return. If you report a net self-employment gain of $ 400 or more on Schedule SE, this income must appear on your Social Security income history. However, if your net gain or net loss from your self-employment is less than $ 400, your Social Security income record will correctly show that your income for those years was $ 0.
If you report net income of at least $400 in the SE form of your tax return, and if these incomes are not reflected in your Social Security income history, you should contact Social Security to request correction of your income. Registration. You will need to submit a copy of the SE for any year and proof of filing a tax return.
Social Security retirement benefits are based on average income for up to 35 years and are linked to the wages covered by individual social security. If your income is less than 35 years, social security will average zero years when calculating your unemployment rate. Obviously, this will reduce your 35-year average income and the resulting profit margin. Regards Larry
If I start drawing early, how do I know how much my profit will decrease?
Hi, Larry, I want to retire this fall, when my 66th birthday is two months away, and the retirement age is only two months. How do I know how much my benefits will be reduced? Thanks, Chris

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