Ask Larry

Is What I Was Told True?

My husband passed away in February 2017. He was 65 and had collected one SS payment. I just turned 62 in August. I was recently told that as a widow, I could move to a different "level" than what I would normally get if I retired at 62 being married. Is that true? My retirement SS is higher than what my husband's.


I'm sorry for your loss.

I have no idea what 'a different level' might be referring to. What I can tell you is that if your own Social Security rate is higher than your potential widow's rate, then your best strategy would likely be to file for reduced widow's benefits now, and then switch to your own retirement benefits at age 70. However, if you are still working and earning more than $16,920 annually, the Social Security earnings test could affect when you can start drawing benefits. You may want to strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website in order to make sure that you choose the best possible filing strategy.

Best, Jerry

Sep 7 2017 - 6:48am
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