Social Security

Questions from our visitors

We often receive questions about Social Security from our visitors. Here are some you may find interesting — perhaps even helpful. To see the answer for a question, click on the blue Get answer link after that question. When you are finished reading the answer, click on that page's Return to Questions link, or use your browser's Back button, to return to this page.

Question 1. Can I find out online approximately what my Social Security benefits would be with early retirement? Get answer.

Question 2. Do I also apply for Medicare when I apply for Social Security retirement benefits? Get answer.

Question 3. I'm older than my spouse, but my eventual Social Security retirement benefit will be lower than my spouse's (I didn't work as long, and I didn't earn as much money). At this point, we are both still working. If I retire first, will our family's eventual combined Social Security income be lower than it would have been if we both retired at the same time? Get answer.

Question 4. How are Social Security benefits calculated? People keep telling me it's your top five years of income, but that seems incorrect to me. Get answer.

Question 5. My wife will have a very small amount of Social Security coming to her at age 62, about $200 a month. How can she increase that amount in the next few years? Is it true that the government takes your best 5 years and that is what your monthly Social Security retirement check is based on? If this is the case, if she were to show a yearly income of say $35,000 a year for the next few years, would this raise her benefits? At this time she is showing no income. Get answer.

Question 6. Is it true that a divorced couple could receive twice the Social Security income of a married couple? When we retire, will we each be able to collect our full Social Security benefit, or will it be reduced? Get answer.

Question 7. My husband and I were married for about 35 years and recently divorced after a 9 year seperation. He is 63 and will be retiring and collecting Social Security when he is 65. I would like to retire when I am 62. Now I do know that I can draw either his Social Security or mine depending on whose is higher. When I am 62 I will most likely draw on his because I am certain his will be more then mine since I was a stay at home wife for many years. My question is if I retire at 62, do I receive benefits based on me drawing at 62, or based on my ex drawing at 65 which could be a big differance? Get answer.

Question 8. Someone at work said that if your husband retires first, then the wife retires later, that the wife's Social Security benefits are reduced. Is this true? If so, how much? Does this mean that the yearly statement Social Security sends out estimating the wife's benefit would not be correct, but would be a lower amount? Get answer.

Question 9. If I worked and made enough to draw Social Security benefits on my own, but could draw more from my husband, do I have a choice? Get answer.