Social Security Secrets, Part 2

If you don't know the rules of collecting Social Security benefits, you can be leaving money on the table! Guest writers Frank and William Rainaldi expose the secrets of spousal Social Security benefits in this series. 

Frank Rainaldi
4-minute read

Social Security Secrets, Part 2

This is the second in a series of articles on Social Security retirement benefits

Did you read Part 1 of this series on Social Security secrets? If not, click here to review the first 3 Social Security enhancements available to workers who wait until Full Retirement Age (FRA) to receive their benefits.

They are:

  1. No reduction in retirement benefits

  2. No earnings limit

  3. The availability of Deferred Retirement Credits

Today, we'll cover the other two benefits of waiting until FRA to collect benefits.  

Spousal Benefits

Are you married? If so, there’s even more you need to know about cashing in on your Social Security retirement benefits. There are two critical benefit enhancements that are only available to married workers. 

The concepts of “File and Suspend” and “Spousal Only” are the keys to properly coordinating and understanding your spousal benefits.  Hang in there; this is complicated stuff! We’ll try to cut to the chase and give you one example of how the spousal enhancements can be used to maximize your benefits.  

Let's assume Mr. and Mrs. K both attain their Full Retirement Age of 66.  If they delay their benefits until age 70 they qualify for their 8% Deferred Retirement Credits (as you read in Part 1). Assume further that Mr. K's Primary Insurance Amount is $2,000 and Mrs. K's is $1,200. 

Mr. and Mrs. K would like to accomplish the following:

1) They would like the spouse with the lower Primary Insurance Amount (Mrs. K) to qualify for a spousal benefit.

2) Mr. and Mrs. K both want to qualify for their 8% Delayed Retirement Credits. At age 70 their respective benefits will increase by a whopping 32%.