Can husband 61 take early retirement and wife also 61 wait until 70 to take her full retirement if she worked her whole life too.

  • No, you can't collect SS retirement benefits until age 62.
    – jamesqf
    May 14, 2018 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


You sure can - if you have other sources of money to live from during the time.

Note that there may be better options, though. If both wait till 70, they get nothing from SS inbetween.
If the one with the lower expected SS income takes it now, he/she will get it for the next nine years (till being 70), and then he/she can switch to getting half of the spouses higher income. The total is nearly always higher than when both wait till 70.

You should do some careful math, or ask a specialist to do them, as you might be losing six-digit money by making the wrong decision.


Here's an article from Kiplinger titled " Make the Most of a Survivor Benefit". The details of the hypothetical couple's Social Security choices has nothing to do with your circumstances but it highlights the importance of runnng the calculations for various scenarios before you make your decision on when and how to begin Social Security benefits.


  • Looks like this is better as a comment than an answer. May 14, 2018 at 18:02
  • If it makes you happy for it to be a comment, switch it to there. Moving it is above my pay grade. May 14, 2018 at 18:11

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