Can I Start Collecting My Late Husband's SS Now At Age 64?

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Apr 29 2019 - 10:12am

I'm 64 years old and still working. Can I start collecting on my late husbands SS now?

Hi,

That probably depends on how much you're earning. If you file for benefits in 2019 at age 64, Social Security would withhold $1 of any Social Security benefits to which you're entitled for each $2 that you earn in excess of $17,640 this year. That could mean withholding all of your benefits or only part of your benefits depending on the amount of your earnings and your monthly benefit rate.

It sounds like your best strategy for claiming benefits would likely 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 on your own record now or as soon as your earnings will permit at least some benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at full retirement age (FRA). However, if your spouse received reduced retirement benefits prior to his death then it would probably be better to file on his account at some time prior to FRA.

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 software could sort all of this out for you and help you determine your optimal filing strategy.

Best, Jerry