How can my wife maximize her Social Security?


Q. My wife turns 62 in August. She has a small Social Security benefit. Can she collect it for now and when I decide to collect mine later, can she switch over to the larger benefit from my Social Security?
— Husband

A. Yes, your wife can claim benefits based on her own earnings record and when you decide to collect.

So is entitled to receive up to 50 percent of your eligible benefit, said Paul Criscione, a certified financial planner with Freedom Capital Management in Colts Neck..

The question, when you retire, is how much your benefit will be and whether 50 percent of the benefit is worth than what your wife can collect on her own record.

You also want to see how this will compare to her full benefit if she waits longer to collect.

“At 62, your wife hasn’t reached full retirement age and will receive approximately 70 percent of her full retirement monthly benefit,” Criscione said. “Depending on your health status, longevity and retirement lifestyle, it might be best for her to wait, allowing her benefit to grow.”

He said for every year Social Security is delayed past full retirement age, there is an 8 percent increase in monthly benefits.

It’s always best to contact your local Social Security office to obtain complete information to compare benefit records.

Email your questions to moc.p1558565486leHye1558565486noMJN1558565486@ksA1558565486.