My wife is 5 years older than I, and while she has only worked sparingly in the last 13 years, she worked full time from about 1980 to 2002. I am not sure if she will ever work again as our youngest kid is 9. Anyway in 13 years I will be 62 and plan on retiring with my 55% of salary pension. I know full well that waiting to 70 provides the maximum Social Security benefit, but I thought I heard a spouse may be able to claim earlier without the other spouse being impacted. I would like to wait until 70 if I can. Anyway given my situation, what is the best way to maximize SS benefits?
Assuming nothing changes between now and then, you will want to file and suspend your benefits at your earliest opportunity. Your wife can then file for spousal benefits, and your benefits will continue to accrue until you file again at 70.
There are several reviews of Social Security benefits calculators that discuss the common strategies for maximizing your benefit, you may wish to visit some of them and enter your numbers at 2 WSJ articles How to Maximize Social Security Benefits and Free Online Tools for Optimizing Social Security Benefits.
It looks like congress moved quite suddenly to close the file and suspend option just now, so unless you are already turning 62 in 2015, this option may not be available.