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Does Taking Early Social Security Hurt Your Spouse?

Decisions you make about Social Security benefits don't just affect you. They can also have an impact on what your family receives.

In the following video from our Social Security Q&A series, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, answers a question from Fool reader Mike, who asks how his taking early Social Security at age 62 would affect his wife and whether her benefits get added to their family total when she reaches full retirement age.

Taking early Social Security has an impact on the survivor benefits your spouse would be eligible to receive after your death, but a lot depends on your spouse's own work history and how much in benefits that work history would produce. Moreover, it makes a huge difference when your spouse claims benefits, as waiting until full retirement will lead to a higher amount than claiming early. The specifics of your situation will dictate the full effect of your early-retirement decision.

How to get even more income during retirement
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, but it's not the only way to boost your retirement income. In our brand-new free report, our retirement experts give their insight on a simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule that can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Have general questions about Social Security? Email them to SocialSecurity@fool.com, and they might be the subject of a future video!


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2014, at 11:48 PM, 123spot wrote:

    Yes, and I am an admirer of your advice. Of course, detailed oriented as you are, you realize that SS for same sex spouses is a state's rights issue based on domicile (state). I pay, she doesn't collect, all escheats. Enjoy that. Spot

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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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