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Maximizing Retirement Benefits Between You and Your Spouse

By: Investor Solutions

If you and your spouse are nearing your retirement you may be able to maximize your retirement benefits by electing and suspending as well as using the spousal benefit.

If you are the higher income earner than your spouse and current cash flow is not a big issue. You can elect and suspend your social security at full retirement age (usually 66 for people around this time). This allows for your benefits to accrue until your 70 at which time you can take a larger monthly payment.

Your spouse can take half of the retirement benefit you would have had at 66. Your spouse can then delay their SS until 70 letting it accrue as well.

One pitfall to be careful of though is the spouse electing their benefit before their full age of retirement (66). If they do this, they won’t be able to switch over to their own increased benefit at age 70 (assuming it has grown to be largest of the two). The spouse will be stuck with the 1/2 spousal benefit.