No. of Recommendations: 10
Wow..all you guys are amazing. Thank you so head is spinning. But what incredible advice. I believe a previous Poster kindly recced Kotlikoff and originally told me to drop him a line on his forum, so was shocked that he personally replied to me and I include below what he has said..(so thx HappyWino, book sounds good)I have meanwhile sent Larry's comments to my accountant to see how we were set up in the first place.................again I can't thank everyone enough just have no idea how concerned I have been about this and just did not want to make yet another mistake which would/could(knowing my luck) be for life.......


When a husband and wife run a joint business, they have the option of
reporting all of the profits to one member of the couple as a
sole-proprietorship, or they can form a partnership to split the profits.
This is done via your tax returns, and the IRS relays what you report to the
Social Security Administration. It sounds like you inadvertently chose the
first route, with you as the sole proprietor.

Actually, and especially if your wife is about your age or younger, this may
have been the better choice. Had you split the profits between you and your
wife, you would undoubtedly be due a lower Social Security benefit rate.
Probably substantially lower. And, since your benefit rate will be higher as
a result of the reporting method you chose, your wife will be eligible for a
higher spousal benefit rate, and a higher widow's benefit rate if you die

The only catch is that, since your wife is uninsured on her own record, she
can't draw monthly Social Security benefits until you start drawing your
benefits. However, since you are already over age 62, she will be able to
receive Medicare coverage based on your record when she reaches age 65. If
she is already age 65, she can file an application for Medicare benefits
immediately by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, or by walking into
a Social Security office.

All of that said, it may still be possible for you to reverse course and ask
Social Security to split your past business profits between your earnings
record and your wife's earnings record. For more information on this
process, refer to this reference from Social Security's program operations
manual: As I stated,
though, this may very well be a disadvantageous course of action.
Unfortunately, there are too many variables involved for me to be able to
give you advice on this option. And, I don't know if you could find an
attorney with enough expertise to help you with this issue. In my
experience, most of the attorneys advertising themselves as experts in Social
Security matters mainly handle disability claims.

You may first want to consider running the maximization software available on
this website. That will give you an analysis of your filing options based on
your earnings as they were originally reported, and will include estimates of
the amount of your wife's spousal benefits.

Best, Jerry

To view your question online or to learn more or purchase Maximize My Social
Security, please visit:

To learn more about our full-featured financial planning software, visit:

Unfortunately we have too many "Ask Larry" questions to reply to this email.
However, if you purchase our software, you will be able to ask more specific
questions and receive personal replies.


Larry Kotlikoff
President, Economic Security Planning, Inc.
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