July 23, 2024

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Can I Switch a Social Security Benefit to a Spousal Benefit?

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can i switch from my social security benefit to a spousal benefit

Social Security benefits can provide you with a stream of retirement income that is reliable. Deciding when to take benefits is an important question, especially if you’re married and hope to qualify for spousal benefits. If you’re already taking Social Security, you might be wondering if it’s possible to switch to a spousal benefit later. The answer depends on whether your spouse is receiving Social Security benefits yet.

A financial advisor can help you figure out what you qualify for and when the best time is for you to start taking benefits as part of your full retirement plan.

How Do Social Security Spousal Benefits Work?

Calculating Social Security benefits as a married couple is a bit different than doing it as a single person. When someone files for Social Security benefits, their spouse may be able to claim a spousal benefit. The benefit is based on their spouse’s contributions to Social Security and is capped at 50% of their benefit amount at full retirement age. For example, if they were to receive $2,200 per month at full retirement age, their spousal benefit would max out at $1,100 per month.

In order to receive spousal Social Security benefits, you must:

  • Be at least 62, the earliest age at which you can receive Social Security benefits OR

  • Be a caretaker for a child under age 16 or a child who’s receiving Social Security disability benefits

  • Be married for at least one year to someone who has filed for their retirement benefits

When you apply for spousal benefits, the Social Security Administration calculates your benefits based on your own work and earnings record as well. If you’re eligible to receive your retirement benefit as well as spousal benefits, then you’d get the higher of the two.

If your spouse hasn’t filed for retirement yet, then you can’t get spousal benefits. You can, however, file for your own retirement benefits if you’re at least 62 years old.

Taking Social…

2023-12-30 11:12:58

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