Discover the New Learn more



Happy African American couple
AARP Auto Buying Program

Most Popular


Free Fun!

AARP Games - Play Now!


Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Employer Resource Center

Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

Social Security Mailbox

Can My Wife Claim and Suspend Benefits?

She needs to be full retirement age to use this option

Q. My wife and I are both 64. She is still employed. I am not, and because of health issues and the current labor market, I expect to remain unemployed. Can my wife apply for her benefit and then suspend it, so that I can claim a spousal benefit now? Assuming no health problems, she plans to work until age 66 to qualify for full retirement age benefits.

A. The right to voluntarily suspend retirement benefits applies only to workers who've reached full retirement age but are not yet 70. So your wife, I'm afraid, wouldn't qualify. But she would in two years, when she reaches age 66. For more information, see "Benefits for You as a Spouse."

You may also like: Early retirement and spousal benefits. >>

Stan Hinden, a former columnist for the Washington Post, wrote How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire. Have a question for the Social Security Mailbox? Check out the archive. If you don't find your answer there, send a query.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits Cricket Wireless Cellular

Members can save $20 on wireless devices from Cricket. Conditions apply.

membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

UPS Store membership discount aarp benefits

Members save 15% on eligible products/services and 5% on UPS shipping at The UPS Store®.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points


Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.