Your Social Security Benefits

What Can Your Spouse Expect to Receive?

Your working spouse will receive the higher of his or her own benefit or the non-working spouse's benefit, but not both. The non-working spouse's benefit equals 50% of your benefit. If your spouse never worked, he or she is still entitled to 50% of your benefit. Your spouse (either working or non-working) is eligible to receive that benefit when he or she reaches full retirement age. A non-working spouse can receive a reduced benefit as early as age 62, but he or she can start receiving the benefit only after you begin to receive your benefit.

You will also need to understand the financial consequences if you elect to receive benefits early, as well as how much you can earn without reducing your benefits. You can increase your benefit amount by postponing collecting benefits beyond your full retirement age. You should look into how Social Security compensates for the effects of inflation, and the extent to which your benefits will be taxable.

The Social Security Administration will send you a yearly Social Security Statement, which will help you plan when you will start receiving benefits.

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