Spousal benefits under Social Security are designed to provide financial support to the spouses of eligible workers or retirees. If you’re married or divorced, you may be entitled to these benefits based on your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s work record. Let’s break down the essentials. To qualify for spousal benefits, certain criteria must be met.
First, a minimum one-year marriage is typically required, with exceptions for divorce cases. While you can claim spousal benefits at 62, waiting until Full Retirement Age (FRA) or later results in a higher payout. Your spouse must have filed for their Social Security benefits, a prerequisite for your eligibility.
Spousal Benefits, an Essential Part of the Social Security System
Divorcees with marriages lasting a decade or more may claim spousal benefits based on their ex-spouse’s record, provided they remain unmarried. For those currently married, benefits can be claimed based on the spouse’s work record, while divorced individuals have the choice between their own or their ex-spouse’s higher benefits. Understanding these nuances ensures optimal benefit decisions.
Deciding whether to claim now or delay presents a significant financial choice. Firstly, let’s clarify what we’re discussing. Spousal benefits allow eligible individuals to receive a portion of their spouse’s Social Security retirement benefit. The amount depends on several factors, including the spouse’s earnings history and your age at claim.
The crux of the dilemma lies in the timing of your claim. You can file for spousal benefits as early as age 62, but doing so reduces your monthly benefit permanently. This reduction can range from 25% if you claim at age 62 to 6.7% if you delay until full retirement age (FRA, typically between 66 and 67).
The Allure of Delayed Claiming: Should I Do It NOW?
While filing for Social Security on one’s own earnings record allows for a monthly benefit boost by delaying until age 70, spousal benefits don’t share this advantage. It’s advisable to wait until FRA to claim spousal benefits, as early filing at 62 results in reduced monthly payments.
Additionally, spousal benefits convert to survivors benefits if a spouse passes away, providing 100% of the deceased spouse’s eligible monthly benefit. Remember, you can’t collect both spousal and survivors benefits simultaneously. Delve into the details of Social Security spousal benefits for a more informed and confident approach to retirement.
February 2024 Social Security Payment Schedule
Stay in the loop with the February Social Security Payment Schedule. If you’ve been enjoying benefits since May 1997 or earlier, mark your calendars for a payout on Friday, 2 February. For those celebrating birthdays from the 1st to the 10th, your payday is set for Wednesday, 14 February. If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th, anticipate your payment on Wednesday, 21 February.
Meanwhile, if your special day lands between the 21st and 31st, you can expect your Social Security funds to hit your account on Wednesday, 28 February. This schedule also extends its friendly reminder to beneficiaries receiving both Social Security and SSI. Keep these dates in mind for a stress-free payout experience!