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SS surviving Spouse
Old 10-20-2011, 01:05 PM   #1
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SS surviving Spouse

I haven't been able to get a clear answer on the social security surviving spouse issue, it is rather confusing.
A husband retires at age 62.

At age 68 he passes away while receiving 18K a year from ss.
at that time the spouse is 62 and drawing her own 8K for SS,
approximately how much will the surviving spouse receive ?

Does the spouse have to be 62, and would she receive more of a surviving spouse amount by waiting until 65/66.
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bobbee25 View Post
Does the spouse have to be 62, and would she receive more of a surviving spouse amount by waiting until 65/66.
The spouse has to obtain the age of 60 in order to receive a benefit, based on the others record, or 50 if disabled.

In your case, if your spouse has reached FRA (Full Retirement Age) of 65/66, or somewhere in-between for whatever FRA age actually is, you will receive a benefit but it would be reduced if you yourself are not at your FRA.

If you wait till your FRA, you would be eligible to receive the full amount of what your FRA spouse would have received, on the day before their death. You are not getting "their" SS, but a credit that is added to your benefit to bring you up to the same amount they were receiving.

BTW, if they are waiting till age 70 to claim SS, your benefit would still be whatever rate they would have received on the day before their death, whatever it would have been, between FRA and age 70. I only point this out because it is our case. I'm waiting to claim SS at age 70 for the benefit of my DW. If I pass at age 68, she will receive an adjustment to equal the full amount I would have received if I claimed on that date - older than my FRA of age 66, but not as much as she would have gotten if I lived till age 70.

Should you wait? That's up to you. Just like an indivudial that is not married and not eligible for benefits based upon another, the longer you wait to collect, the larger amount you will get.

Here's a reference:

Social Security Online: Widows, Widowers & Other Survivors: Qualify and Apply
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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Ok, I think I have it.
I started at 62, currently am 67 and pass away at 69.
My spouse currently at 61 and starts drawing her reduced amount at 62.

When I pass away then she could get a reduce amount of what mine was or wait until she is 66 and then get what mine was.

There wouldn't be any advantage of her delaying her own unless I live for quite a while, when I go the maximum she would get is what mine was.
================================================== ===
Question 2:
Retiring at 62 mine was around 17K, if I had waited until 66 it would have been around 22K.
Seems like if I discontinue ss in January, pay back the amount previously received, I could restart in March and start drawing the 22K.
So I would be paying back around 85K. For me alone I would have to live 15 years to break even, but if my spouse would get the extra amount it would be like a 5K lode time annuity for both, cost 85K.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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........
Seems like if I discontinue ss in January, pay back the amount previously received, I could restart in March and start drawing the 22K.
.......
I think the door closed on this alternative.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:44 PM   #5
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I think the door closed on this alternative.
No, it is still there but modified to only allow a retraction within the first 12 months of receiving SS (along with just once in a lifetime), per the following:

Retirement Planner: If You Change Your Mind

You can't witdraw/repay as before, after a multi-year period. Anyway, very few people even took that optional.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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Not sure if it matters in your case but I am pretty sure the spouse can be under 60 if the couple has kids under 18.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #7
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If surviving spouse is age 62, then survior;s benefit would be 71.5% of the deceased husband's FRA benefit. This amount increases to 100% of the deceased spouse's FRA benefit as the survivor approaches her FRA.
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