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« If I Delay Social Security, Should My Spouse Delay Too? | Main | An Even Smarter Social Security Strategy »



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Reading your blog for first time. I have tried some of your strategies and find SS will not acknowledge my requests. I am divorced after 20 yrs of marriage. He was the larger earner. I am 67 (started collecting SS @ 65). They are pulling from my SS and giving me approx $20 more from his. I have asked to have my SS limited to his only so I can grow mine. The SS office says that is not possible. Can you help me explain this better?

Lynn replies:

Unfortunately, the Social Security office staff person you spoke with is right. The reason you can't do this is that you started collecting your benefit at 65.

Only people who have waited until their full retirement age to apply for Social Security have the option of taking only one benefit and letting the other grow.

Your full retirement age was 66. When you filed at 65, you locked in a combination of your own benefit and the benefit you're entitled to based on your former spouse's work record.

Lynn, in the above example, the husbands FRA benefit @ 66 =$2500. If the wife files for spousal benefit when he is 68, his benefit @ that age would be >$2500. For the sake of discussion, say it's $3000. Wouldn't her spousal benefit thus be 1/2 of the $3000 ($1500). rather than 1/2 of the $2500 ($1250)??

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