In the 1960s, 70% of married couples with children under 18 lived in a household where only the father was employed. By 2002, that number of “traditional family households” had fallen to only 7%. At that same time, 29% of households were considered dual-income.
By 2019, dual-income households accounted for almost 54% of total households.
This significant shift in dual-income households over multiple decades is created an extremely diverse pool of dual-income households. In some cases,
Each situation creates a unique opportunity to analyze the possibilities within the 17 factors framework that go into making a wise Social Security claiming decision.
In 2015 Congress changed the law around spousal claiming in a dual-income household. Congress made one set of rules for everyone born on or before January 1, 1954, and the second set for all born after. This means that in some dual-income households, each individual has separate claiming rules. In other households, both individuals are under the same set of rules. Soon all Social Security recipients and claimants will be operating under the second set of rules.
Dual-income married couples have as many as eight Social Security benefits in the household. Each worker is entitled to their own benefit in addition to the following potential benefits:
Starting with the month an individual turns age 62, the benefit amount increases every month until the claimant reaches age 70. That means that in a dual-income household with two people of the same age, there are 72 possible claiming age combinations.
Since benefits change monthly, however, there are 9,216 possible age combinations for claiming benefits.
So when should you claim, and when should your spouse claim? That answer will depend on how all of the various factors that affect claiming blend together for your circumstances.