You’re 66 years old and married; your spouse is 65. You have no children.
You were the higher earner, and making a little more than $175,000 before retirement. Your spouse was making $20,000 before retirement. You assume you’ll both live until 100.
To maximize your spousal benefits, the higher earner should claim it at 67. Then switch to your regular retirement benefit at 70. You’ll make $150,000 more than if you claimed your retirement benefit at 66.
Because of your age, you’re grandfathered under an old law that allows you to take your spousal benefit first and your retirement benefit later.
But, Kotlikoff, said, “Under the new law, he’d have to take both at once and get only the higher of the two.”
Your spouse should claim his or her Social Security retirement benefit at 66 and then switch over to their spousal benefit at 69. He or she will make at least $10,000 more than if they filed for the benefits at 65.