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Widow's question re Social security
Old 10-14-2006, 07:03 PM   #1
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Widow's question re Social security

I read some of the SS postings on Best of the Boards. Does anyone know the anwer to this question?

My spouse died several years ago at age 60. I took the SS widow's benefit when I was 60. It amounts to about 75% of the total SS my spouse would have gotten had he reached full retirement age.

When I read either my full retirement age (almost 67) or wait until 70, (1) if the SS I'm entitled to on my work record is higher than what I am receiving on the basis of my spouse's record, will I receive that higher amount even though I have received benefits (albeit my spouse's) before I reached retirement age and (2) do I need to choose between receiving his benefits or mine, or do I get a combination of the two?

Thanks.
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Re: Widow's question re Social security
Old 10-15-2006, 07:52 AM   #2
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Re: Widow's question re Social security

I thought this question would be easy, but I am not finding a clear absolute answer. The social security website says:

If you are receiving widows, widowers, or divorced widows or widowers benefits, you can switch to your own retirement benefit as early as age 62. This assumes you are eligible for retirement benefits and your retirement rate is higher than your rate as a widow or widower. In many cases, a widow or widower can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then, at full retirement age, switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate.

Because the rules are complicated and vary depending on your situation, you may want to call 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment to talk with a Social Security representative about the options available to you.



http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/otherthings4.htm

I don't know why they say the rules are complicated and what complications those may be and if any of those complications would reduce your benefits.
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Re: Widow's question re Social security
Old 10-15-2006, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: Widow's question re Social security

Being a widow and having talked with them myself when I still had minor children as well as a few months ago, it appears that if you take the widows benefits at 60... They do a reduction in your benefits later. So, spend the time to analyze it very carefully!
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Re: Widow's question re Social security
Old 10-15-2006, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: Widow's question re Social security

I would ask Social Security. But get their answer in writing.
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