When Is It Best To File For Benefits If You Are Widowed?

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Apr 13 2017 - 10:15am

my husband passed away while still working at age 62 i am age 60 and also still working when is it best to start receiving benefits i plan on working till age 62

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

I'm assuming that your husband didn't receive reduced retirement benefits prior to his death, since that could affect when you would want to file for widow's benefits. The Social Security earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html) could also affect your decision if you continue working.

Your best strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits at age 60 or as soon after that as your earnings will permit payment of benefits, then switch to your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits at age 62 or as soon after that as your earnings will permit payment of benefits, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at your full retirement age.

The maximization software available on this website can help you determine which of the above strategies is best, as well as when to apply for each type of benefit.

Best, Jerry