Question

The spousal benefit was initially 50% of my Social Security payments, based on my earnings. After roughly 20 years of retirement, my wife’s Social Security payments are only about 40% of my payments due to the annual COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments) applied to each of our accounts. Is there a way to rectify the situation and get her payments back to 50% of mine?

Answer

The reader doesn’t give his or his wife’s age, or when they started claiming benefits, but if she filed prior to her own spousal full retirement age (FRA), then she would have a reduction in benefits, which would always lag his benefit says David Cechanowicz, senior financial planner with RedWWealth, LLC. “The COLA is paid the same to each beneficiary. A spousal benefit can be as low as 35% of the primary claimant’s benefit, if claimed early,” he explains.

Question

The spousal benefit was initially 50% of my Social Security payments, based on my earnings. After roughly 20 years of retirement, my wife’s Social Security payments are only about 40% of my payments due to the annual COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments) applied to each of our accounts. Is there a way to rectify the situation and get her payments back to 50% of mine?

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