You have not given me any benefit amount, so I will make some numbers to give you an example of what I mean.
Let’s say your full retirement age is $ 3,000 a month and your 65-year benefit is $ 2,700. And we’ll say your wife’s currently receiving $ 1,000 in her own retirement benefit.
So if you take benefits now, you will start earning $ 2,700 a month. And as I said, your wife’s spousal rate is based on your FRA benefit. So she has to pay 50% of $ 3,000 or $ 1,500. So she will continue to receive her $ 1,000 retirement benefits, and she will receive an additional $ 500 off your record to take her total benefits up to the $ 1,500 level.
But if you die before she does, her widow’s rate will be based on your reduced unemployment benefit amount. For example, if you died next year, her widow’s benefit would be $ 2,700 a month. So she would keep getting her $ 1,000 retirement benefits, her $ 500 spouse benefit would stop, but she would start getting $ 1,700 in widow benefits to bring her up to the $ 2,700 rate.
Q: My wife and I are both 62. I’m still working. My wife is not. I plan to wait until my full retirement age (66 and 10 months) to start my social security when I have to pay $ 3,400 a month. My wife’s OFF benefit would be $ 1,500 and she would have to pay $ 1,100 if she takes her benefits at 62. That’s what she wants to do. But I tell her she has to wait until her full retirement age when she can get half of mine. What do you think we should do?