How Married Couples Can Maximize Social Security Benefits

9:08 pm Estate Planning, Tax Planning

boomer couple1 150x150 How Married Couples Can Maximize Social Security BenefitsFor married couples where both spouses have a work record and will be entitled to receive Social Security retirement benefits, there are some strategies that will help you maximize your benefits for the largest possible payout.  These include:

File and Suspend – When the highest earning spouse – we’ll call him Bob — reaches retirement age, he files for benefits and then immediately suspends them.  This allows Bob’s wife Carol to choose the higher benefit – half of Bob’s benefit or her own benefit.  Bob can continue to work or draw income from an IRA and delay receiving his benefits – which will be larger – until he is 70.

Double Dip – This term is applied to the ability to draw your spousal benefit and your own benefit at different times.  To do this, you must file for the spousal benefit first, even though it may be smaller.  Taking your own benefit down the road will mean a bigger check.

62/70 Strategy – If you can’t afford to postpone taking your Social Security benefits, this strategy allows you to maximize your benefits as a married couple.  The lower earning spouse files first at age 62, and the higher earning spouse delays filing for benefits until age 70.  Even though Bob is waiting until age 70 to begin taking his benefits, he can file for a spousal benefit based on Carol’s record once he reaches full retirement age.  When he turns 70, he then drops the spousal benefit and starts taking his larger benefit.

For more information on how married couples can benefit from estate planning, contact our Orange County law firm.

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