When it comes to retirement, Social Security benefits are an important part of the equation. Knowing when and how your spouse can collect half of your benefits can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring you both have a comfortable retirement.
Qualifying for Spousal Benefits
In order to qualify for spousal benefits, your spouse must be at least 62 years old and have been legally married to you for at least one year. Additionally, your spouse must not be eligible for higher benefits based on their own work history.
Your spouse may also qualify for spousal benefits if you are currently collecting Social Security benefits and your spouse is at least 62 years old. If you are not yet collecting your own benefits, you must be at least 62 years old and your spouse must be at least 62 years old or have a qualifying child in their care who is under the age of 16 or disabled.
Collecting Half of Social Security
Your spouse can begin collecting half of your Social Security benefits when you reach full retirement age, which is currently 66 or 67 years old depending on when you were born. Your spouse can begin collecting as early as age 62, but they will only receive 35% of your full benefit amount.
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, your spouse can begin collecting spousal benefits at any age as long as you are already receiving benefits. If you are not yet receiving Social Security benefits, your spouse will not be eligible to collect until you reach full retirement age.
Your spouse can also choose to delay collecting their spousal benefits until as late as age 70. If they choose this option, they will receive a higher benefit amount.
Social Security benefits can be a great way to ensure you and your spouse have a comfortable retirement. Knowing when and how your spouse can collect half of your benefits can help you plan for the future and make sure you both are taken care of in your golden years.