Coordinating Social Security Spousal Benefits

October 20, 2014

Coordinating Spousal Benefits

When and how married individuals claim their social security benefits can mean tens of thousands and perhaps more than a hundred thousand dollars in lifetime benefits. When each should claim their benefits is dependent upon their unique set of circumstances. Such factors as health, ability and desire to continue working, and their other retirement assets are important in their planning.

Even a spouse that has never worked and has no Social Security earnings on their own record can still claim benefits on their spouse’s record (or Ex. Spouse in certain situations).

Some general guidelines for maximizing social security benefits are:

1.       The higher earning spouse should delay benefits until age 70, if possible.

2.       The higher earning spouse can apply for benefits on the lower earning spouse’s

earnings at full retirement age, assuming the lower earning spouse qualified for benefits, and continue to accumulate his or her own earnings record for future benefits.

While there are many options for how/when to coordinate your spousal benefits, it is best that you consult your financial advisor or attend a workshop ( to get all the facts before you make your decision regarding Social Security timing and claiming methods.

                        Brandon M. Smith, LPL Investment Advisor Representative
                        Lifetime Planning, Inc.
                        Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC