Monday, March 21, 2011

Husband's Earnings Don't Count Against Wife's Own Benefits

Wayne from Minnesota writes:
I am writing after reading your book SS Answer Book. I am 61 and will continue to work for 3-4 more years. My wife is 61 and "retired" last year. We file our taxes jointly. Can she file for SS benefits at 62 regardless if I am still working full-time and our "joint" income exceeds the limit for SS? She will not have any W-2 income, just income from her investments.
Thank you

ANSWER: Good question Wayne, but not to worry, if she is filing on her own earnings record. She can collect her own benefits without your earnings having any effect. It is only if she collects a spouse's benefit on your account that your earnings may be considered for withholding of benefits. Of course, her SS benefits may be subject to taxation by IRS.

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