Social Security and spousal benefits


Q. My wife started receiving her own reduced Social Security benefit at age 62, about a year ago. I am younger and plan to start receiving my own benefit at full retirement age (66). Since my benefit will be substantially higher than hers, I know that she is entitled to a spousal benefit equal to one-half of my benefit. However, since she started receiving reduced benefits under an age penalty, would her spousal benefit (i.e., half of mine) also be reduced forever due to the age penalty?

A. If your spouse claims her own benefit early and then later claims a spousal benefit, the spousal benefit will also be reduced as though she had claimed it early.


About Author

Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at


  1. I did not know that you give advice professionally as well as on this site. Your answers to the questions people ask are very clear even though sometimes you have to tell them that your already answered their question. Federal employees are very lucky to have someone like you.

  2. Over the years, I regularly reviewed past questions and comments about retirement (responses for Reg Jones/Mike Miles). The information was extremely helpful. Where are the past questions/responses now located? If they are no longer available, I find little information in your website that I can’t find in multiple other forums. Please advise or bring the info back!

  3. Pingback: Social Security and spousal benefits – Federal Times Blogs

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