I am helping a neighbor, Betty, navigate the Social Security maze. Betty is approaching full retirement age and is still working. Her first marriage lasted more than ten years and ended in divorce. Her ex is now deceased. She married again at age 58. Her second husband recently passed away and Betty is now unmarried. Is Betty entitled to her ex’s survivor benefit if it is larger than her late husband’s survivor benefit? p.s. Your latest "Get What's Yours" book is terrific. Thanks, Frank
I am a widow for many years as my husband passed away at age of 36. I will be 66 and SS advised I take his monthly benefit at 66 and switch to mine when I turn 70 when I can hopefully retire. However, his benefit is actually over $400 a month more then mine now and so delaying taking his until I turn 70 it appears his will be more then mine at that time based on an additional 8% per year of delay so I think I should delay taking his until I am 70 and start taking mine now. I expect to live many years past 70 and will need the better of the options after I am 70.
Hi, I retired in 2011 (27 years) at age 49 and withdrew my retirement (extremely dumb move I know) from state government. My husband was still working in the construction industry and we maintained by downsizing, but started up a small business in anticipation of his retiring at the end of 2013. In 2013 my 53 yr old husband passed away unexpectedly of a massive heart attack approximately 6 weeks after he was laid off from his job. I received $200+ burial from SSA and he had a small life insurance policy from the employer he was laid off from.
Hi, I was talking to a social security rep. about death benefit for my husband and I asked him how much I would get for my husband's Social Security benefit. He told me a little over 1200.00. My husband worked since he was 15 yrs old. He was in the Air Force also. He told me I was eligible for 85.5% that didn't sound right. So I need to know if that is right. Thanks, Ashleigh
Hi I have two questions. 1) Where do I find the expert software to run scenarios you reference in your column? 2) I lost my husband at 55. I was told by social security that I could start collecting his benefit (widows benefit) at age 60. He was the top wage earner and I'll never have a benefit as high as his. I am still working and plan to at least until I'm 66 1/2. I am wondering the best time for me to apply for his benefit and if I just lose out on the years I contributed to the system since my own benefit will be much lower than his. Thank you.
Hi, I am 55 years old and have full time employment. My husband of 27 years, died in 2011. He was 56. He had been on SS Disability for 10 years after having been injured at work in 1998. Prior to that he had a professional career. My question is how do I figure out what my options will be when I turn 60. I have read that getting information from the Social Security office is not always accurate. Thanks, Jean
I'm asking this question on behalf of my mother. She's 80 y/o, widowed, and legally disabled (with arthritis and moderate dementia), and also drawing a modest pension. Her SS check went up when her husband died (it's now $2,000/mo), but we're wondering if it's too late to benefit from your program given her age. Please let us know if she sounds like a candidate and we'll definitely pay the fee. Thanks, Rick
I turned 66 y.o. in march 2011 and collected my SS pension at that time. My husband died on February 2010. My SS pension is higher than him. Am I intitled to collect any widow benefit? He collected his SS when he turned 66, in 2006.
You are eligible for the higher of your retirement benefit off of your record or your widow's benefit, which is generally what your husband was receiving when he died, as increased by subsequent COLAs. From what you say, your retirement benefit is larger. So, you are getting the maximum that you’re entitled to.
Hi, I turned 60 on 2/3/2016. My husband died 11/3/1991, we had been married since 11/26/1977 when he died. He had been collecting SS Disability (for our whole family, myself & our 3 boys) since about mid 1986. (He became ill in 5/1984). I collected survivors benefits for my sons & myself until each turned 18; mine stopped when my youngest turned 16, he was born 11/1/1984, after my husband became ill. Now that I am eligible for my widow's benefits I was told by the SS office that I make too much income to really get any (about $30,150 annually vs.