Ask Larry

Can My Wife Get Both Spousal And Survivor Benefits?

My wife is 66, I am 69. Each of us is divorced and we remarried after we were 60. I plan to take ss on my 70th birthday. When I do can my wife file for spousal benefits and also receive survivor benefits from her ex husband in addition to spousal benefits or is she only able to recieve one benefit? Thank you.


No, your wife could only receive essentially the higher of the 2 benefit rates. But, she could potentially draw survivor benefits now and then file for spousal benefits when you start drawing if the spousal rate is higher than her survivor rate. And, if she is also potentially eligible for retirement benefits on her own record, she may be able to switch to her own record at age 70 if that rate is higher than the other rates.

It sounds like you and your wife have numerous filing options available to you, so you may want to strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website to determine your best strategy.

Best, Jerry

Jul 28 2017 - 3:13pm
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