As a stay-at-home mom, you may be wondering what your Social Security benefits will look like once you retire. While you may not receive a traditional paycheck like those who work outside the home, you are still entitled to Social Security benefits that are calculated based on your spouse’s earnings or your own work history. In this article, we will discuss how Social Security benefits are calculated for stay-at-home moms.
How Social Security Benefits are Calculated
Social Security benefits are calculated based on your average lifetime earnings. For stay-at-home moms who have not worked outside the home, their benefits are calculated based on their spouse’s earnings. This is known as a spousal benefit.
A spousal benefit is calculated as 50% of your spouse’s full retirement benefit if you begin receiving benefits at your full retirement age. If you choose to begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, your benefit will be reduced.
How to Qualify for a Spousal Benefit
In order to qualify for a spousal benefit, you must be at least 62 years old and your spouse must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits
Stay-at-home moms can maximize their Social Security benefits by delaying their benefits until age 70. This will result in a higher benefit amount. Additionally, if you have worked outside the home and earned enough credits to qualify for your own Social Security benefits, you can choose to receive either your own benefits or a spousal benefit, whichever is higher.
Earning Credits for Your Own Benefits
To earn credits for your own Social Security benefits, you must have earned income and paid Social Security taxes. In 2021, you earn one credit for every $1,470 in earnings, up to a maximum of four credits per year.
As a stay-at-home mom, you are entitled to Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s earnings or your own work history. By understanding how benefits are calculated and knowing your options, you can maximize your benefits and secure your financial future. Don’t let the mystery of Social Security benefits keep you in the dark – start planning today.
Q1. How is Social Security calculated for stay-at-home moms?
A1. Social Security benefits are calculated based on a formula that takes into account the highest 35 years of a person’s earnings. For stay-at-home moms who did not earn income during those 35 years, their Social Security benefits will be calculated based on the earnings history of their spouse or ex-spouse.
Q2. Can stay-at-home moms receive Social Security benefits based on their own work history?
A2. Yes, stay-at-home moms who have worked and earned enough credits to qualify for Social Security benefits can receive benefits based on their own work history. However, if their earnings history is lower than their spouse or ex-spouse’s, it may be more beneficial to receive benefits based on their spouse or ex-spouse’s earnings history.
Q3. What happens if a stay-at-home mom gets divorced?
A3. If a stay-at-home mom gets divorced, she may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on her ex-spouse’s earnings history. To qualify for these benefits, the couple must have been married for at least 10 years, and the stay-at-home mom must be unmarried and at least 62 years old. The amount of benefits received will depend on the ex-spouse’s earnings history.