Can I File For Widow's Benefits At Age 60, Or Should I Wait?

Category: 
May 26 2017 - 8:15am

I will be 60 next month. My husband past away last July 2016. I make approx. $25,000 a year. Can I still file for widows benefits or should I wait.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

You could file for widow's benefits at age 60, but at least some of your benefits would be withheld due to your earnings (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

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 benefits to be paid, then switch to your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits at age 62 or as soon as your earnings will permit benefits to be paid, then file for widow's benefits at full retirement age, or sooner if your husband received reduced retirement benefits prior to his death.

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

Best, Jerry