In the past, some couples used the ability to file for one and not the other to their advantage. One spouse would file for their spousal benefits as early as possible, while delaying their personal social security benefits to a later age after their full retirement age, which would generally give them a higher retirement benefit. Delaying their personal benefits led to an increased benefit when they filed for their retirement benefits later.
Now, if you file for your retirement benefit or your spouse’s benefit, you are considered to have filed for the other retirement benefit as well. The ability to file for one before your full retirement age, and wait to let the other benefit grow before filing for it is no longer available. Generally, you will receive the higher of the two benefits if you are eligible for both.
It’s important to stay up to date on any changes with Social Security so that you can make the best decisions regarding your specific situation. If you have any questions about your specific situation, feel free to contact your financial advisor, your local Social Security Office, or our office.