I would like to know if my wife, who is 63 years old, could draw Social Security now on her earnings and then switch to half of mine when I turn 66 on 7/25/12. Also, would this be the best way to maximize our Social Security benefits? – Duane


While your wife could begin her benefits now based on her own record, they would be permanently reduced. This reduction also applies when you begin to draw Social Security and she is eligible for a spousal benefit. In other words, the fact that she begins benefits early impacts both benefits based on her own record as well as those attributable to your earnings. If you’re both healthy physically and financially, it probably makes sense to delay benefits for as long as possible to maximize what you receive over your lifetimes.