Summary of Chapter 2: Increasing Your Benefits by Utilizing Spousal and Family Benefits
Using spousal benefits is often an easy way to hike monthly Social Security benefits. This chapter shows how the SSA defines spouse, ex-spouse, dependent children and parents. You’ll grasp how to calculate the family maximum benefit (which is about 150 to 180 percent of the worker’s benefit amount). You’ll grasp how the earner’s and ex-spouse’s benefits are not included in the family maximum benefit. You’ll discover how to calculate the family maximum benefit, see examples of early spousal benefits, and establish the impact of a worker’s early retirement on the early retirement of his or her spouse. Next you’ll become aware of “Dual Entitlement”. Dual entitlement allows a spouse, ex-spouse or survivor to claim benefits on their own work record or on the earner’s work record. The chapter concludes with instructions about how to maximize benefits by determining if you should claim your own benefits or your spousal benefit.