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Home / Business / Have you talked to your spouse about social security? Here's why you should – Motley Fool

Have you talked to your spouse about social security? Here's why you should – Motley Fool

Although you have consistently saved for retirement, there is a good chance. Social security will come up as an important source of income for you down the line. You've probably read that it's important to maximize the benefits and files for them at the right time. But when you prepare your own personal Social Security Strategy, it's an equally important thing to do: Loop in your spouse.

Couples Have an Advantage

Being a couple may seem to your benefit in applying for benefits, therefore, it always pays to coordinate your application decision with your spouse. Eligible pensioners receive an eight-year window to file for social security schemes beginning in 62 years and ending at 70 years. (Technically you can archive after 70 years, but there is no financial reason to wait past this point.)

Right in the middle of that time frame is full retirement age, otherwise known as the age at which you can claim the full month's benefit your work history gives you right to. The age, depending on the year you were born, is either 66, 67 or a space.

  Senior couple in bed with laptop


Here's why it's important: If you file for benefits before full retirement age, you'll automatically reduce them in the process, and if you demand them after full retirement age, you increase them by 8% a year up to 70 years. Many elderly people, however, eat benefits as soon as possible because they need the money. If it's the scenario you're facing, but you're married, you might be lucky

Just because your privacy file doesn't mean your spouse must. Therefore, if you find that you need money in the early 60's and you and your spouse have each worked, you can get the lower earner of the two of you to claim 62 benefits while the higher earner leaves his or her benefits alone to grow. In this way you get instant cash, but you also maintain the decisive revenue stream.

Depending on your needs, you can also do the opposite. Get higher retirement benefits early, while your lower earnings grow. There are many combinations to play with, but the key is to get on the same page with your spouse so you make a wise joint decision.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you didn't do the work, but your spouse did, you can collect benefits based on his or her work record. In fact, your spousal benefits may amount to up to half of what your partner's benefits are at full retirement age. But you can't claim spousal benefits for your husband or wife actually files, so that's something you need to discuss as well.

Survival Benefits Can Be A Lifeline

Another thing to keep in mind about social security is that the program pays survival benefits to spouses whose partners surpass. If you are much older than your spouse and you expect him or her to collect survivor benefits after you have passed, you need to think carefully about archiving. If you require benefits before full retirement age, you reduce payments, and in turn reduce the amount your spouse is eligible to collect when you pass. On the other hand, if you wait until after full retirement to archive, your spouse is entitled to a greater survival benefit for the rest of your life.

Surprisingly, a large number of American couples are willing to discuss money matters, but if you want to get the most out of social security, you need to sync with your spouse. Once you have that conversation, you will be better positioned to maximize what may be your only biggest pension income stream.

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