What Widow's Benefits Can I Receive?

Category: 
Nov 12 2017 - 11:30am

My husband (deceased) passed away before collecting his ss (58). The last statement I received from ss showed what he would have received at his retirement age of 65. this amount is equal to what I will collect (from my statements) at FRA of 66. What if any widow's benefit would I receive from his SS?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

You don't mention your current age or whether or not you are working, so I can't address your question with much specificity. However, your best strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits at age 60 or as soon as your earnings will permit 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 benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at your full retirement age.

If your and your husband's full retirement age rates are about the same, then option 1 would likely be best, since your own retirement benefit rate would grow by up to 32% if you don't start drawing it until age 70. You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website to compare your filing options in order to make sure that you choose the best possible strategy.

Best, Jerry