Saving for Retirement
Choose the Right Spouse to Receive Benefits
When you choose to start collecting Social Security benefits can dramatically impact the amount of your monthly payout. In general, the longer you wait, the more you will collect each month. If you are married, it gets a little more complicated.
For example, if you are 62, earn more than your spouse, and want to start collecting benefits, you are required to claim the highest benefit available to you, whether that amount is based on your earnings or your spouse’s earnings. However, when you reach 66 years old, you can limit your claim to your spouse’s benefits and wait until you are 70 to start collecting your benefits. That way you will start receiving some income now and will receive the maximum amount of benefits possible when you reach age 70. If you pass away, your spouse will receive the full amount of spousal benefits possible as long as he or she is already at retirement age.
Social Security benefit planning can be fairly complicated; see a financial professional for advice specific to your situation and your needs.