What Happens to My Spouse’s Benefits if I Retire Early?

Gold Watch for Retirement

The Real Impact of Early Retirement on Spouses

For individuals who retire early and have a Full-Retirement Age (FRA) of 66 (which means they were born between 1943 and 1954), the monthly reduction of benefits for the primary earner and the spouse are significant.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) at their Web site located at http://socialsecurity.gov/OACT/quickcalc/earlyretire.html indicates how the monthly reduction is calculated. If the primary earner’s Full Retirement Age (FRA) benefit is $1,000 per month and he (or she) retires at age 62, the reduction is 25 percent ($750 per month). If the spouse also retires at age 62 the reduction of 30 percent. In other words, the $500 (one-half of the primary earner’s benefit) is reduced to $350. Therefore, the primary earner and spouse will receive $1,100 per month. If the couple had waited until FRA, the monthly benefit would be $1,500. This is a significant reduction.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a spouse receives one-half of the retired worker’s full benefit unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before FRA. If the spouse begins collecting benefits before FRA, the amount of the spouse’s benefit is reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he or she reaches FRA.

For example, based on the full retirement age of 66, if a spouse begins collecting benefits:

At age 65, the benefit amount would be about 46 percent of the retired worker’s full benefit;
At age 64, it would be about 42 percent;
At age 63, 37.5 percent; and
At age 62, 35 percent.
However, if a spouse is taking care of a child who is either under age 16 or disabled and receives Social Security benefits, a spouse will get full benefits, regardless of age.

If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefit and for benefits as a spouse, the SSA will always pay benefits based on your work record first. If your benefit as a spouse is higher than your retirement benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse’s benefits.

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Announcing Metro Washington Financial Planning Day, Saturday, October 22, 2016


Metro Washington to Host Free Financial Planning Day
Dozens of Metro Washington Area Financial Planners Will Offer Free Advice on Budgeting, Retirement Planning, Income Taxes, Investment Strategies, and More

We have all heard that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but Metro Washington area residents may feel differently after receiving free financial planning advice and guidance from local professional financial planners during Metro Washington Financial Planning Day. The event will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at George Mason University, Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201 and will feature highly qualified CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, all volunteering their time and expertise to work one-on-one with local residents to address their important financial issues.

Financial planners will be set up at individual tables to meet with attendees to answer questions on getting out of debt, retirement planning, investment strategies, income taxes, insurance, mortgages, and foreclosures, among many other topics. All advice will be offered on a “no strings attached” basis and planners will not give out business cards or sell financial products or services.

The event will also feature a series of classroom-style educational workshops addressing key personal finance topics, including:
1. Women and Investing
2. Basics of Estate Planning
3. Investing Basics
4. Planning for Young Professionals
5. Social Security

Metro Financial Planning Day is organized by the National Capital Area chapter of the Financial Planning Association, as part of a national Financial Planning Days initiative created by an alliance between the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Financial Planning Association, Foundation for Financial Planning, and U.S Conference of Mayors. The collaboration is a first-of-its kind effort involving thousands of financial planners nationwide united in an effort to provide free financial education and programming to communities throughout the U.S.

TO PARTICIPATE: Metro Washington Financial Planning Day is free and open to the public. Members of the news media are invited to attend the event and interview the organizers. The event will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at George Mason University, Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201. Pre-registration starts at 9:30, with events beginning at 10:00 am and continuing until 4:00 pm. Metered parking is available on the street and there is underground parking.

Free online registration for the Metro Washington Financial Planning Day is available at http://financialplanningdays.org/event/metro-washington-financial-planning-day , or by calling toll free at 877-861-7826. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Kathleen Sindell, Ph.D. 703-299-1700 or kathleen.sindell@faculty.umuc.edu
Susan Chesson, CFP 703-760-3673 or schesson@focus-wealth.com

Media Contacts for National Financial Planning Days Initiative:
CFP Board: Daniel F. Drummond – 202.379.2252 or ddrummond@CFPBoard.org
FPA: Ben Lewis – 303.867.7190 or BLewis@onefpa.org
Foundation for Financial Planning: Jon Dauphiné – 770.938.1110 or jdauphine@foundation-finplan.org

About CFP Board
The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards® (CFP Board) is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® certificants and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 70,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States. For more about CFP Board, visit www.CFP.net or call 800-487-1497.

About FPA
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the largest membership organization for CFP® professionals in the U.S. and also includes those who support the financial planning process. Working in alliance with academic leaders, legislative and regulatory bodies, financial services firms and consumer interest organizations, FPA helps connect all in our membership through a variety of unique and compelling ways. FPA members adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct and clear, complete disclosure to those they serve. FPA’s unparalleled network of chapters encourage professional development and networking on a local level. Based in Denver, Colo., our association represents tens of thousands of members involved in all facets of providing financial planning services. For more information about FPA, visit www.FPAnet.org or call 800.322.4237.

About Foundation for Financial Planning
The mission of the Foundation for Financial Planning is to help people take control of their financial lives by connecting the financial planning community with people in need. The Foundation funds programs that provide pro bono financial planning, and connect volunteers through the involvement of the financial planning and services community. The Foundation strives to help people who are underserved by the market, in need of financial guidance, or in a financial crisis. The Foundation aims to improve the lives of all Americans through access to pro bono financial planning and financial life skills education to provide those at all socio-economic levels with the knowledge to control their financial lives and opportunities to obtain unbiased financial advice in time of crisis and disaster. For more information about the Foundation for Financial Planning, visit www.foundation-finplan.org.

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