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Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-01-2007, 06:59 PM   #1
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Social Security, --- Again

I can't answer DW's question.

I'm drawing SS, at reduced benefits, since I retired at 63. (in 2003)
She still works full time and plans to retire, in 2-3 years. We've both worked long enuf, to clear all the hoops and hurdles, to qualify for SS benefits, on our own.

IF, I die.-- And she still works, --What does she get from my SS benefit? ( Besides, the
225.00 burial allowance.)

Can she retire, after age 62, (she is) and receive anything from my benefit, or is it all based on her individual account?

No, we don't eat at home anymore!
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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-01-2007, 07:01 PM   #2
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

SK:

here is how I understand it.

If your wife's benefit based on her work history is smaller than half of your benefit then she can get (while you are alive) half of your benefit in addition to what you receive. So at a minimum you as a couple will get 150% of your benefit while you both are alive. However, If she begins collecting before full retirement age then her benefit will be reduced.

If your SS benefit is greater than your wife's then she can (after your death) get the larger payment that you were receiving.

If her payment was greater then she will only receive what she was receiving before.

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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-01-2007, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

Thanks, MB, for your reply!

OK, I'm drawing reduced benefits, because I retired at 63. ( I am now dead! )

Wife, Is still working. Does she get anything? She hasn't retired , yet! Forget, that she is elegible.)

Sorry, to be so stupid.
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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-01-2007, 08:50 PM   #4
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundance Kid
Thanks, MB, for your reply!

OK, I'm drawing reduced benefits, because I retired at 63. ( I am now dead! )

Wife, Is still working. Does she get anything? She hasn't retired , yet! Forget, that she is elegible.)

Sorry, to be so stupid.
If I understand your question and scenario and SS, here's what I think:

1. She gets the one time death benefit for you of $225 or whatever it is.
2. When she retires, assuming you were married for more than 10 years, she could draw benefits based on *either* your earnings record *or* hers, whichever results in a higher benefit. (If you were married for less than 10 years, she would just draw benefits based on her earnings record).

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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-01-2007, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

2Cor521:
Thanks, for you answer! You've been kind, and I appreciate it!

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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-02-2007, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

You're welcome.

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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-02-2007, 02:47 PM   #7
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

A widow I work with is receiving $14K/year from social security due to her husband being dead. I think it is his social security. That might be some sort of special case (I have no idea). She didn't know that she could get it until several years after he died. The rules are apparently very complex.
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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-02-2007, 03:02 PM   #8
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
A widow I work with is receiving $14K/year from social security due to her husband being dead. I think it is his social security. That might be some sort of special case (I have no idea). She didn't know that she could get it until several years after he died. The rules are apparently very complex.

Complex?--- That's an understatement!
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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-02-2007, 09:41 PM   #9
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

Very good question.

Does everyone agree with the answer?: The retirement benefit of the spouse is the 50% spousal benefit; and the benefit of the the dead person goes to $0 (since that person died )


Can someone explain the Survivors benefit as indicated in the SS statement?:
"Your spouse who is caring for your child" (to me this means that the spouse draws only if there is a child under 18, nothing otherwise)
"Your spouse, if benefits start at full retirement age" (to me this means the spouse retirement age).
It seems to be a quite high number (compared to the others). I am thinking that it might decrease over time when coming closer to retirement and at 62 or 67 it might reach $0.
Does this means that the spouse can start drawing immediately after the death and that the number indicated is greatly reduced? I am guessing yes.

I might have answered my own questions... Am I wrong?
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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-05-2007, 11:02 AM   #10
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

perinova,

Survivor benefits are different from retirement benefits.

Survivor benefits are for your kids (under age 16 or 18 or somesuch) should you die young. There is a per child amount. There is also an additional number that is for your spouse as long as there are survivor benefits being paid to/for your kids. There is also a maximum number, which is the most you will get (which is about 3X the single child number, IIRC). So in my case, for example, with three kids and an ex who was married to me for more than 10 years, if I die they will get the max number for a while until my oldest child goes out on his own, then the number will drop as the rest of the kids leave the nest.

Retirement benefits are for the spouse if they'd been married to you for longer than 10 years. They can then collect on their own earnings record or your earning record.

Supposing a young widow, she could, as I understand things, collect survivor benefits for a while and then, later on, after a possible "gap", collect retirement benefits, both on the dead husband's record. I don't know what happens if the widow finds herself qualified for both benefits simultaneously.

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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-05-2007, 12:19 PM   #11
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

I am a widow and I started collecting social security on my late husbands record when I recently turned 60 .Widows are eligible to start collecting a reduced amount of their husbands social security at 60 as long as they didn't remarry .They can then switch to social security under their own record at a later date .If you remarry after 60 there are no penalties .This also applies to divorced men And women who were married and their spouse died .They can collect social security on their ex's record at 60 as long as they did not remarry .
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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-05-2007, 08:50 PM   #12
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

The best thing that you could do is to call your local social security office and make sure that your wife is there with you, so she can give permission to discuss her record also, go into your local office together or call the toll-free 1-800-772-1213 and let them look at both of your records. There are different scenarios that could apply, depending on her age when she decides to retire or you were to die and also whether or not she is still working, since there can be an annual earnings test that applies if she is under full retirement age. If she is full retirement age and her primary insurance amount is close to yours, she might want to delay taking her own social security to age 70 at the latest, in order to receive delayed retirement credits on her own record. There are a lot of different options and it would be best to have someone look at the facts in your case.

The lump sum death benefit is $255.00. Also, a widow normally only has to be married for 1 year to be eligible for widow's benefits. The 10 year requirement that 2 Cor is talking about is if you are applying as a divorced wife or surviving divorced wife. Survivor's benefits can be for children, widows or widowers. Widow's or widower's can elect to receive their survivor's benefits first and then switch to retirement benefits on their own at a later date or vice versa, on their own first and then to survivor's benefits at a later time. It all depends on both of your social security amounts, ages, whether or not you are still working and how much you are earning and whether or not you need the highest benefit when you file or can wait for an unreduced benefit or a delayed retirement benefit at a later date. One can also file for reduced survivor's benefits on one spouse and then file for unreduced survivor's benefits on another spouse's record at a later time.

I strongly encourage you to check with the social security office. There is a lot of erroneous information that is spread regarding social security, by people who are very well meaning and do know about their own particular case or that of one person, but there are alot of different scenarios based on your particular case.
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Re: Social Security, --- Again
Old 03-05-2007, 08:53 PM   #13
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Re: Social Security, --- Again

I would add that people I know who have gone to the actual SSA office have found the people knowledgeable and helpful.
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