Should I File For Widow's Benefits At Age 60?

Category: 
Oct 10 2019 - 8:38pm

Hi Larry,
I'm 56 years old and working full time. My husband recently passed away. Should I apply to receive widow's benefits at age 60 or should I wait until xx years? I'm not hurting for money but don't know the pros/cons of applying for his benefits. Are their earnings limits if I do apply for widow's benefits?
thank you
candy

Hi Candy,

I'm sorry for your loss.

I can't give you a definite answer, but your best strategy would likely be one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits at age 60 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 at age 62 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 deceased spouse received reduced Social Security retirement benefits prior to his death then you would likely want to file for your widow's benefits earlier than 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 (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) could sort all of this out for you and help you determine your optimal filing strategy.

Best, Jerry