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Dear Pixy:

This question is posted on this board because it is believed to be of potential interest to those who are considering retirement and who may have the limited ability and flexibility to still make a few modest choices and is addressed to you because you seem to be so knowing about so many retirement topics, but it is really a social security question.

It is my understanding that a spouse of a qualified person (ie., over the age of 65 and with over 40 quarters of coverage) may:

1. Qualify for medicare when age 65;

2. Receive at age 65 one-half as much as the previously retired person would be entitled to receive; and

3 Receive at age 65 100% of what the deceased previously retired person would have been entitled to if that person had not been deceased.

Please do let me know if I am incorrect on any of the three (3) foregoing understandings and please answer the following question:

For maximum potential dollar social security benefits to the family as a whole and probably to each person as well, would it not be more beneficial for the older soon-to-be-retired person at age 65 with more than 25, but less than 35 years of coverage, to retire but to go back to work a bit to get closer to 35 years of coverage, rather than for the younger person at less than 65 years of age with less than 40 quarters of coverage to work a bit to increase the younger person's quarters and years of coverage?

In other words, are there not more total social security benefits available to the family if all or most of the social security benefits result from the covered earned income of just one spouse?

I thank you in advance for your response.

Foolishly, DHatch :)

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