If I Die Before My Wife What Would She Receive?

Category: 
Feb 11 2020 - 10:51am

I'm 71 years old, and my wife is 64 and she started collecting at 62 and is getting a proximately half of what I get, if I die before she does what does she receive?

Hi,

The exact amount that your wife would receive in the event of your death depends on whether or not you started drawing your benefits prior to full retirement age (FRA) and whether or not your wife is at least FRA when she starts drawing widow's benefits.

If you did not start drawing reduced Social Security retirement benefits prior to FRA and your wife is at least FRA when you die she would get your full benefit amount as a survivor. She wouldn't get her own benefit rate and yours, though, just the higher of the two benefits. If you did start drawing reduced Social Security retirement benefits prior to FRA then it's possible that your wife's survivor rate could even be a bit more than your amount. But, if you didn't start drawing your benefits until FRA or later and your wife starts drawing widow's benefits prior to FRA then her rate will be somewhat lower than your full rate.

Best, Jerry