When You Claim Social Security Can Have Huge Implications for Your Spouse

When you’re gone, your spouse’s income will take a major hit – one that can be worsened significantly if you make the wrong decision about when to claim.

An older man kisses his wife's forehead.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s unfortunate, but many people don’t have a basic understanding of how claiming Social Security benefits early can haunt them — and their loved ones. For example, 45% of U.S. adults mistakenly believe they can file early for reduced Social Security benefits and then have them restored to a higher level once they reach their full retirement age, according to a 2021 Nationwide Retirement Institute® survey. This isn’t true. Claiming Social Security early locks you in for reduced benefits for the rest of your life.

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Kristi Martin Rodriguez
Senior Vice President, Nationwide Retirement Institute, Nationwide

Kristi Martin Rodriguez currently serves as Senior Vice President of the Nationwide Retirement Institute® for Nationwide Financial, leading the teams responsible for advocating for and educating members, partners and industry leaders on issues impacting their ability to have a secure financial future. She was a founding member of the Ohio chapter of The National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), an organization helping people of color and women achieve inclusion in the industry.