ss benefits

Asked June 24, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

I have a question concerning social security benefits and when to take them. I'm 62 and my wife is 55. She is the higher wage earner. Should I take benefits now or wait?

Linn County Iowa personal finance family and consumer sciences

1 Response

We recently updated our Retirement: Secure Your Future publications and there is a new edition that discusses the options for taking Social Security benefits: PM 1825B https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/Retirement-Transitions-Social-Security-Retirement-Secure... It will give you details to answer your question. You can download a free copy and might want to look at several others in the series. Social Security benefits are based on your life expectancy, taking benefits at a younger age will permanently reduce future benefits including the spousal benefit you can claim based on your wife's earnings when she is eligible to retire. Your total benefit is the same, but early claims mean you are likely to receive benefits for a longer period of time so it reduces your monthly payment. You also will be limited in the additional income you can earn until you reach full retirement age (66-67). I suspect you and your wife, if filing a joint return, will exceed the income limit and $1 for every $2 you earn over the limit will be deducted from benefits. Take a look at the publication, visit with Social Security or post questions again if you need clarification or additional information, this is not as simple an answer to provide as it may seem, personal factors such as other retirement income, personal health, etc. play a factor.