Does taking a reduced Social Security benefit early also mean that my spouse’s benefits will be reduced?
Taking your retirement benefits early will reduce the amount of survivor benefits for your spouse, but your spouse can still get unreduced spousal benefits on your record by waiting until full retirement age to begin receiving monthly Social Security checks. At full retirement age, your spouse’s spousal benefits will be equal to 50 percent of your full retirement benefits. In most cases, spousal benefits will not exceed your retirement benefits. In that instance, you would get your retirement benefits instead of spousal benefits.