I was widowed at 32 I'm now 50 my husband would be 62. I work and earn 36K a year, and manage I was encouraged to ask if I would qualify for any of my husbands benefits to help me along. Or must I wait until I'm of retirement age myself
The earliest that you could qualify for widow's benefits is at age 60, although benefits can be paid as early as age 50 in some cases if the widow is disabled.
Your best strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits at age 60, then switch to your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits at age 62, then for unreduced widow's benefits at full retirement age, which would be age 67 in your case.
You will likely want to start out with whichever benefit is lower, and save the highest benefit for last. The maximization software available on this website can help you determine your best strategy when you get closer to retirement age.