Are there advantages to wait for each spouse to turn 70 before filing for Social Security if they are both working?
It would give them a bigger combined monthly benefit while they are both alive, however, there would be virtually no survivor benefit because it is only paid out if it is larger than the surviving spouse’s own retirement benefit.
Survivor benefits are worth 100% of what the deceased worker was claiming—or entitled to claim—at time of death if the surviving spouse is at least full retirement age; less if claimed earlier.
One spouse, at 66, could file “a restricted claim for spousal benefits” and collect half of their spouse’s full retirement age amount, and switch to their own maximum benefit at 70. The maximum spousal benefit is worth 50% of the worker’s full retirement age benefit even if the worker postpones their benefit until later.When one spouse dies first and the other collected their maximum benefit at 70, they would not receive a survivor benefit because their own delayed retirement benefit would be larger.
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