Is Filing For Survivor Benefits My Best Option?

Feb 1 2017 - 8:00am

I am 64 years old and still working and hope to work two more years. My husband died in 2016 at age 65. Is survivors benefits the best option for me to receive or what do you think I should do?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Your best strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for survivor benefits now or as soon as your earnings will permit payment of at least some benefits, then switch to your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for retirement benefits now or as soon as your earnings will permit payment of at least some benefits, then file for survivor benefits at age 66.

If your husband received reduced retirement benefits prior to his death, that could change the equation somewhat. And, the Social Security earnings test(https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html) is another major factor in determining when you should file.

You may want to strongly consider running the maximization software available on this website. The software will factor in all of the above variables to help you determine when you should file and which of the above filing strategies is best.

Best, Jerry