How Much Would My Wife Get If She Starts Drawing Widow's Benefits At Age 63?

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Feb 17 2018 - 10:05am

I was born in Nov 1952. My wife was born in May 1960.
I plan to claim social sec benefits at the age of 70 based on my earnings and expect to collect about $40,000 per year. If I die at the age of 71, my wife will be 63 years old at the time of my death. My wife income is much less. In this scenario, what will be my wife's survival benefits if she claims at her age of 63?

Hi,

Your wife's unreduced widow's benefit in the scenario you present would be equal to your full benefit rate including the DRCs you earn by waiting past full retirement age (FRA) to claim your benefits. But, she would have to wait until her FRA to be eligible for the full unreduced rate. If your wife filed for her widow's benefits at age 63 instead, her rate would be reduced by roughly 15.7%. Thus, if your full monthly rate was $3,300 for example, your wife's age 63 widow's rate would be about $2,782. Note, though, that she could only receive the higher of her own retirement benefit rate or her widow's rate, not both.

Best, Jerry