Can I Draw My Deceased Husband's Social Security At Age 60?

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Apr 11 2018 - 10:16am

Hi. Larry..My husband passed away 7 years ago.I am age 58 1\2 . We were married 7 years. I have never remarried.
can I draw his social security at age 60?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

It sounds like you could potentially qualify for reduced widow's benefits at age 60, which would be paid at a rate of 71.5% of your husband's full retirement age rate (PIA). However, if you continue working your benefits could be subject to full or partial withholding until you reach your full retirement age (FRA) depending on the amount that you earn (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html).

Assuming that you will also qualify for retirement benefits on your own record, your best strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits at age 60 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 on your own record at age 62 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, if your husband received reduced retirement benefits prior to his death that could affect the optimal time for you to claim widow's benefits.

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 best filing strategy.

Best, Jerry