Q & A: How much of my Social Security benefit will my spouse be able to collect?

By: Stacey Nickens

Your spouse could be entitled to as much as half of your Social Security benefit. If you take your benefit before your full retirement age, both you and your spouse will receive a reduced benefit. However, spouses caring for qualified children will not experience a benefit reduction.

If you delay taking Social Security, your benefit increases significantly. Unfortunately, your spouse does not get to benefit from this increase. Your spouse will still only be able to collect half of your original retirement benefit. Your original retirement benefit is the amount you would have collected at age 66 1/2.  However, if you die before your spouse, your spouse can take a survivor’s benefit equal to your increased Social Security benefit.

Lastly, if your spouse qualifies for their own Social Security benefit, they will receive the benefit that is highest: either their own or their spousal benefit.

To calculate a spousal benefit, go to this online calculator.

For additional questions on Social Security planning, I encourage you to reach out. I will specialize your retirement plan to your unique situation. 

Disclosures: There is no guarantee that these strategies are suitable for all individuals. This material has been distributed solely for informational purposes and should not be considered as individual advice or recommendations. Individuals should consult a Social Security professional prior to making any decisions.