I turn 66 years of age this Nov.30. Born 1952. Spouse deceased about 12 years ago. If I retire this November can I collect my or my deceased spouses Social Security checks and continue to work full time? I was informed this was possible; however I am believing it must be a part of of my deceased spouses check and I may continue to work as many hours as I like (full time is what I would plan on presently). Please advise
Yes, starting with November 2018 you could draw either retirement benefits on your own record or widow's benefits regardless of how much you earn. And, depending on how much you will earn in 2018 you may even be able to start drawing benefits before November (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html).
It sounds like your best strategy would probably be one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits now or as soon as your earnings will permit at least some benefits to be paid, then switch to your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits now or as soon as your earnings will permit at least some benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at your full retirement age. However, the most advantageous time to file for widow's benefits could be earlier than full retirement age if your husband received reduced retirement benefits prior to his death.
Normally, you would want to start out drawing the lower benefit first and then switch to the higher record when it reaches it's highest potential rate. Our maximization software can sort all of this out for you and help you determine your optimal strategy.