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When should survivor take social security benefits
Old 09-22-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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When should survivor take social security benefits

Here's the scenario:
Spouse recently passed away at age 56. Survivor is almost 60 and has been told they can start taking survivor benefits at 60, but wonders how that would affect taking their own benefits. Deceased spouse made/contributed significantly more than the surviving spouse. Is there a good rule of thumb for survivors that matches the 62/66/70 discussion on the board? Survivor does not have an immediate need for the money, but family history also does not suggest a particularly long life expectancy.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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I would suggest going over to boggleheads.org and ask the question of "sscritic", who resides on that forum and knows (IMHO) SS with all its options.

H/she has also claimed early (at age 60) with the death of a spouse, along with dependent childern, as I recall.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
I would suggest going over to boggleheads.org and ask the question of "sscritic", who resides on that forum and knows (IMHO) SS with all its options.

H/she has also claimed early (at age 60) with the death of a spouse, along with dependent childern, as I recall.
second that motion and the site is bogleheads.org
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
I would suggest going over to boggleheads.org and ask the question of "sscritic", who resides on that forum and knows (IMHO) SS with all its options.
I agree. Sscritic is a SS genius.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:14 AM   #5
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Hi Zjoe, welcome to the forum. No real rule of thumb here, it very much depends on how much the benefit is for each at FRA. The greater the difference the more sense it makes to take the surviving spouse's own benefit at first opportunity, then wait to age 66 and then take the survivor benefit.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #6
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I think I would spend a little to get advice from socialsecuritysolutions.com

I haven't used them as I am 6 or more years away from eligibility, but others have and I've heard good things about them.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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The best thing to do is visit a SS office and they will discuss all the options . I took SS survivor benefits at 60 and then switched to my higher benefit later .My benefits were not affected at all .The SS website gives you a list of the documents you need to apply . If your spouse was married before or if you were married before they require divorce dates , wedding dates & birt dates of former spouses . I orginally planned on just sticking with the Survivor benefit until 70 but the huge market drop after I had just retired made me rethink that since the extra SS income allowed me to lower my portofolio withdrawals and let my portfolio heal.
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