How to optimize spousal social security benefits for self-employed
Hi, folks, I am new to Mint. I never thought I would have to think about the importance of social security benefits. I always considered it to be "gravy" until I had very serious financial setbacks Now, I am having to think carefully about social security benefits including spousal benefits for my wife who is 13 years younger and my two school age kids, one of whom is severely autistic. Somebody on Turbotax suggested I post on Mint. Here are some questions I have:
- My wife has been a homemaker and does not qualify for her own benefits. I understand that she would qualify for about 50% of my benefits once a pull the trigger. Is this about right?
- According to my SSA statement, "if you're eligible for retirement benefits, your minor children or adult children disabled before age 22 also may receive benefits". Does this mean my 8-year old son with Autism could start receiving benefits once I start collecting benefits at retirement? Is there a formula for how much my disabled son would receive.
- According to my wife's SSA statement, she has only 11 credits at this time. To get retirement benefits, SSA states she needs 40 credits of work. I understand that my wife can earn a maximum of four credits for each year by making $5,640 per year (one earned credit for each $1,410 of wages or self-employment income). Is it worth it to get her at least the minimum qualifying (W-2 or 1099) income for about 7 more years so that she may qualify for her own benefits? Alternatively, is it possible for my company to pay her a W-2 or 1099 for about the next seven years (right now she works for "free")