More on Social Security
While you may be eligible for more than one benefit, you are only able to claim one at a time. The timing of when you claim benefits can be very important. For example if you claim a spousal benefit before reaching full retirement age you will be deemed to be filing for your own retirement at the earlier age as well. This would have the effect of reducing you monthly retirement forever. Another example, if you are married you cannot file for a spousal benefit until your spouse has filed for his/her retirement benefit. However, if you are divorced you can. A final example, Spousal and survivor benefits do not continue to increase in size for each month you delay receiving them the way your own benefits do. Consequently, there is no benefit to delaying receiving these benefits once you reach your full retirement age.