What Is My Best Option At This Point?

Aug 12 2017 - 7:56am

I am a widow and I made decisions under stress. My husband passed and I started drawing social security at age 60. I am realizing I quite possibly erred. I just want to find a path to do the best I can now that I already made this not well thought out move. I am now 63 and still working. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

I don't have enough information about your circumstances to be able to properly advise you. Depending on your relative retirement benefit rate and widow's benefit rate, filing for widow's benefits at age 60 may have been your best option. If your own benefit rate is higher than your widow's rate, you can allow your own rate to grow until age 70 and then switch to your retirement benefits at that time.

However, if your unreduced widow's benefit rate would be higher than your own retirement rate at age 70, it may have been better for you to file for your retirement benefits first and then file for unreduced widow's benefits at full retirement age. But, you wouldn't have been eligible for reduced retirement benefits until age 62.

You still have the option of withdrawing your widow's application and filing for retirement benefits now, but that would require repayment of all of the benefits you've received. Before doing anything like that, though, you would likely want to use the maximization software on this website to make sure that is your best option.

Best, Jerry