Can I Still Work And Receive Widow's Benefits At Age 60?

Category: 
May 25 2017 - 7:57am

When my husband died I was told that I could draw off him when I turn 60. Question is can I do that and still work without penalties?

Hi,

Not necessarily. The Social Security earnings test applies to widow's benefits payable prior to full retirement age (FRA). Basically, you would lose $1 of benefits for each $2 that you earn in excess of $16,920 this year (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 payment of some benefits, 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 payment of some 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 these strategies is best in your case, as well as the best time for you to apply for each type of benefit.

Best, Jerry