The size of your Social Security spousal benefit depends on a number of factors, including your age, the maximum amount of your spouse's benefit, and whether other benefits are available to you. The maximum amount you can claim is 50% of your spouse's full benefit.

One of the most important factors in calculating spousal benefits is the age of both the beneficiary and the spouse. The maximum spousal benefit amount is dictated by the maximum benefit amount due to the beneficiary. If your claiming spouse is eligible to receive $1,000 per month at full retirement age, for example, your spousal benefit cannot be more than $500 per month.

You may claim Social Security spousal benefits as early as age 62, but the amount of your benefit is permanently reduced according to the number of months left until you reach full retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you choose to claim spousal benefits at 62, the maximum benefit you are eligible to receive is equal to 32.5% of your spouse's full benefit amount. This amount increases with each year, up to the maximum 50% benefit at age 67.

While those are the basic elements of the spousal benefit, there are a number of complicating factors that must be considered. Learn about the availability of other benefits, the file and suspend option, and deemed filing. Also, Stout Bowman uses the Maximize My Social Security tool to analyze your claiming options so that you can get the best benefit for your unique financial situation.