My wife is 77 and has Alzheimer's. I am 63. Can I collect my full Social Security Benefits early to care for her? - AgingCare.com

My wife is 77 and has Alzheimer's. I am 63. Can I collect my full Social Security Benefits early to care for her?

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We have been married 40 years. A few years ago my wife started showing signs of dementia, then Alzheimer's. My career involved a fair amount of travel. When I tried to cut back on travel to care for my wife, I was let go after more than 30 years in industry. We have been living off our savings, but they are almost gone now. Is it possible to collect my full social security so I can care for her?

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DSG19411954, my apologies, 97yroldmom is correct. I knew Congress had closed the SS loophole known as "file and suspend," but I didn't know that for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1954, it also ended "restricted applications," which was my suggestion for you. Still, if you haven't already talked to SS about your exact current and future benefit eligibility, then you should do that to help inform your decision about what to do.  Thank you, 97yroldmom.
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Reply to bicycler
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Bicycler
I looked your suggestion up after reading DSGs post. I was thinking that Congress had shut that practice down of filing on spouses SS and then filing on your own at 70.

It was grandfathered in for folks born before Jan 1,1954. Since DSG is 63, he must have been born in 1955. So he was a little too young to qualify.
Here is an article from AARP that discusses it.
www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/info-2016/social-security-final-word-on-file-and-suspend.html
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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DSG19411954, if your wife is collecting SS, then you are eligible right now for a spousal SS benefit based on her earnings. Later, you can refile for benefits based on your own earnings. Your monthly benefit will increase about 2/3rds of 1% every month you delay filing on your own earnings until it maxes out at age 70. Talk to the SS office to find out the exact benefit amounts to help determine whether it's better to file now based on your own earnings or to first file based on your wife's earnings and refile later based on your own earnings, which is often, but not always, the best strategy
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You can file for your social security at age 62 you just don’t get as much if you had filed at 66 I had to retire at 59 to take care of husband with Dementia I tried to get my ssi but was told I can get it at 62 you can also apply on line for it
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Reply to Masonnic
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DSG19411954,
You stated "My career involved a fair amount of travel. When I tried to cut back on travel to care for my wife, I was let go after more than 30 years in industry." I am sorry to hear that your company let you go. Are you going to look for a part-time job or stay at home 24 hours/7 days a week to care for your wife? Are you receiving health insurance via COBRA?

I am limited in regards to the type of work that I can do because of my disabilities. So I talked to a few CPAs and Insurance agents about my situation. My Mom is in a nursing home and her income is paying for the nursing home. (She is Private Pay as we own 2 farms.) I am having to use my retirement funds to pay everyday expenses & utilities that Mom used to pay before she went into the nursing home in May 2017 because she and I had been "roommates" (AKA we lived together) since 2008. The consensus of the CPAs and Insurance Agents was that in my situation that it was better to receive 75% of my Social Security NOW. Currently I do not have any income so I do NOT qualify for the "Affordable Care Act" Marketplace Health Insurance benefits. Because Social Security is considered "Income", I will qualify for "Affordable Care Act" Health Insurance. (A savings of over $1,000/month for me once I receive SS.) Also, a couple of CPAs told me that the 25% difference really doesn't mean much unless you live for 20-25+ years (age 82--85+). So I might as well receive Social Security now and not have to use as much of my retirement fund to pay for utilities and health insurance.

If your wife worked, then she should be entitled to some Social Security benefits. After a spouse dies, the highest Social Security benefits is what will be paid to the surviving spouse.

The other people have given you some good information. Definitely look at www.ssa.gov website. I hope that our information will be helpful to you. Please let us know if you have any more questions or concerns or if you only want to "VENT" your emotions. God Bless!
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Reply to DeeAnna
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There are no caregiver exceptions that will get you full benefits if you file before your full retirement date.
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Reply to Guestshopadmin
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DSG, yes, your can get Social Security at the age of 63, but please note you will not be getting as much as if you waited until 66 [as Ahmijoy mentioned above], but I realize you need the money now. I believe you will get only 75% of the full benefit by signing up early.

Here is more information: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/1943.html

Does your wife receive Social Security?  You might want to check with Medicaid [which is different from Medicare] to see if your State has any programs to help you with the caregiving.
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Reply to freqflyer
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As far as I know, you cannot collect your full benefits until you are 65 or 66.
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