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Switching From Spouse's to Own Social Security Benefits

Q. When I turn 66, can I claim Social Security spousal benefits on my husband’s record, then switch over to my own account at age 70 and get a higher benefit?

A. Yes, you can. When you’ve reached your full retirement age of 66, you may choose to receive only your spousal benefit, if your husband has filed for benefits by then.

By doing that, you delay claiming your own retirement benefit, and that delay will increase your full benefit amount by about 8 percent a year.

You must make clear when you file for benefits that you are applying only for the spousal benefit.

Source: Jean Setzfand, AARP

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