When Should I File for My Widow's Benefit?

Jun 30 2016 - 9:00pm

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. What are your thoughts? Thanks, Pat

Pat, while your retirement benefit will increase if you delay from your full retirement age (FRA) to 70, your widow's benefit does not similarly increase. If you filed early it would have been reduced but it doesn't grow after your FRA. If your widow's benefit will always be larger than your retirement benefit, then there's no advantage to delay filing for your widow's benefit past 66. Thanks, John