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Social Security: Claiming benefits when married

Claiming Social Security is a big step for Americans, especially if they’re married and it can have an impact on their spouses.

application for social security benefits in retirement

Your health and lifespan should be taken into account to determine which strategy should be used by married couples.

The Social Security administration shared that a man reaching retirement at 65 has an average life expectancy of 84 years old.

A woman’s life expectancy is 86.6 years old.


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This means depending on the age of you and your spouse, that really should be taken into consideration.

If you and your spouse are in good health in the years leading up to your retirement, maybe delaying it to get bigger payments is ideal.

The older you get while waiting, the bigger your payments will be in the long run.


Ways to tackle Social Security as a married couple

If you’re married to someone with a similar age, income, and life expectancy, you may both want to delay benefits.

This can maximize lifetime benefits.

If there’s an age gap, it’s a good idea to claim the benefits of the higher earner.


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It is also advised to collect earlier if someone in the couple is in poor health.

Differences in claiming Social Security at certain ages

You may claim benefits starting at age 62.

There is risk to claiming at 62. You will see up to 30% less in monthly payments than at full retirement age.


If you choose to retire at your full retirement age of 66 or 67, you will see 100% of your benefits.

Finally, by waiting until age 70, you can see 8% more per year from your FRA to when you claim at age 70.

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