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Subject:  Re: Bernstein's 16pp Guide for Millennials Date:  9/25/2021  2:24 PM
Author:  jjaym Number:  104372 of 105397

...lower-earning spouse to take Social Security at 62 and the higher-earning spouse to wait until 70...

Step 2 is then for the lower-earning spouse to suspend own benefits, and switch to receiving 1/2 of spouse's when spouse starts collecting.
This is called "file and suspend," and the rules did change. You can now collect either on your own earnings record, or your spouse's, but not one then the other.

That much I was aware of. In our case, my benefit is about 1/2 of my spouses anyway, so it matters little.

But (if I understand correctly) if the higher earning spouse dies, then the lower earning spouse receives the spouses benefit as the survivor benefit.

An example to illustrate and confirm my understanding, for a same age couple.

If I received $1000/month benefit starting at age 62.
Wife received $3000/month benefit starting at age 70.

From age 70 on, we each collect our benefit for a total of $4000/month.

Case A:
If wife passes away at 72...
then I would receive $3000 a month until my death as survivor benefit

Case B:
If I pass away at 72...
then she would continue to receive $3000/month.

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