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Old 11-16-2016, 06:10 PM   #41
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That's rough, and you're remarkably brave. When my mom died a few years ago it had been similarly apparent and planned for, but it still wasn't any easier. I concur heartily with those who recommend giving yourself a couple of days to simply grieve. Catharsis works.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:05 PM   #42
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I am so sorry for your loss. A friend of mine took her widow's benefits at 60 which was as early as she could take them.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:32 PM   #43
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Athena53, So sorry for your loss.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:58 PM   #44
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That's rough, and you're remarkably brave. When my mom died a few years ago it had been similarly apparent and planned for, but it still wasn't any easier. I concur heartily with those who recommend giving yourself a couple of days to simply grieve. Catharsis works.
I agree with the sentiment. I would like to point out that some people, myself included, need to process grief associated with losses like this in pieces over time, and the mechanics of taking care of the lost loved one's affairs can be a helpful diversion.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:59 PM   #45
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DH died this morning- a relief after his life and activities becoming more and more limited since it was determined that his acute myeloid leukemia wasn't responding to treatment in late August. Thanks to hospice, he died peacefully at home in a cloud of Lorazepam, Haldol and morphine, which was what we both wanted.

So-o-o- I cope in times like this by doing organized, analytical things I can control. I got on the SS site and found I need to give back his last payment, received last week. Oops. Then I looked at the list of info they need and panicked a bit.

Background: DH was 78, started collecting at 65. I’m 63, retired, planning to wait till age 70 to collect on my own record, which will exceed the Widow’s benefit. DH was married twice before. Wife #1 is likely collecting SS- don’t know if it’s on her own or DH’s record (married well over 10 years). Wife #2 is deceased. I was married once before- the Ex started collecting on his own record at age 62 and died in 2010.
I can get hold of DH’s birth certificate, his death certificate, our marriage certificate, etc. It appears they have a lot of Qs about the previous marriages I can’t answer. Wife #1 was not on good terms with DH although I’m on very good terms with their son so I may be able to get elementary info like her date of birth off the top of his head. Not likely I can get other stuff they mention like date of divorce. I’m even less likely to get that info on Wife #2. I know her first name. That’s it. She was a dear friend of a mutual friend of DH and me, whom I just called today- but not sure what the mutual friend would know.
So, am I going to need all those gory details? And I assume widow’s benefits start as of 11/1 so that what I have to give back is offset somewhat. I can’t do anything till I get the death certificate and then I’ll fly into action. Cash flow is not an issue, but I’d appreciate any insight people c
Oh - I'm so sorry to hear this. Even though you let us know what was happening, it seems so fast!!!
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:46 PM   #46
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I'm so sorry for your loss.
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Old 11-16-2016, 09:02 PM   #47
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I agree with the sentiment. I would like to point out that some people, myself included, need to process grief associated with losses like this in pieces over time, and the mechanics of taking care of the lost loved one's affairs can be a helpful diversion.

I'm more like that. I had a good cry today over all the kind comments from everyone I know on FaceBook, but a couple of days of wallowing in grief would drive me crazy. We're all different. I'm not opposed to getting professional help if I decide I need it but right now I'm functioning pretty well.
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Old 11-16-2016, 09:19 PM   #48
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Dear Athena,
As a widower married to a widow, I can understand you situation. I can only offer sympathy for your situation, and a quote I found:

Grief is like the wake behind a boat. It starts out as a huge wave that follows close behind you and is big enough to swamp and drown you if you suddenly stop moving forward. But if you do keep moving, the big wake will eventually dissipate. And after a long enough time, the waters of your life get calm again, and that is when the memories of those who have left begin to shine as bright and as enduring as the stars above.
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Old 11-16-2016, 09:36 PM   #49
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I am so sorry.
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:07 PM   #50
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Grief is like the wake behind a boat. It starts out as a huge wave that follows close behind you and is big enough to swamp and drown you if you suddenly stop moving forward.
Thanks-I like that image. I married a man 15 years older and he was diagnosed with polycythemia 10 years ago so I knew I was bound to outlive him. We found out 2.5 months ago that it wasn't responding to meds. It's a completely different experience for me than for someone who loses a spouse suddenly, like my Aunt whose husband the marathon runner dropped dead of a heart attack at 42. I had time to grieve before his death and to think about life without him and even talk with him about it. When I told DH that I'd booked a cruise from Panama City to Costa Rica on our favorite line (UnCruise) in April, his eyes lit up and he was happy for me. Thoughts of the future got me through some bad times.
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:58 PM   #51
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I'm sorry for your loss and hope you take the time needed to heal.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:26 PM   #52
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A postscript on this: called SS today and the first appointment I can get by phone is December 14! I asked specifically about when the payments would be effective and he said when I did get the first installment it would cover December. My guess, though, is that I'll get it in 2017, when I have a darn good chance of it getting taxed since I'll be filing as a Single and have lots of taxable investment income. Nasty, but nothing I can do about it. I'm sure there are other widows whose biggest worry is not tax issues, but how to get by between the time when the husband's last SS payment was received and the time Widow's benefits are first deposited. I'm glad i have the former problem.

No questions about DH's previous marriages, thank heaven. I would have applied on-line if it hadn't been for all those intimidating blank spaces.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:31 PM   #53
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A postscript on this: called SS today and the first appointment I can get by phone is December 14! I asked specifically about when the payments would be effective and he said when I did get the first installment it would cover December. My guess, though, is that I'll get it in 2017, when I have a darn good chance of it getting taxed since I'll be filing as a Single and have lots of taxable investment income. Nasty, but nothing I can do about it. I'm sure there are other widows whose biggest worry is not tax issues, but how to get by between the time when the husband's last SS payment was received and the time Widow's benefits are first deposited. I'm glad i have the former problem.

No questions about DH's previous marriages, thank heaven. I would have applied on-line if it hadn't been for all those intimidating blank spaces.
So I don't know if anyone responded to my question about your benefit not be frozen on your own account if you file before you turn 70.I'm just curious because I understood benefit reduction were set in stone on the claiming of your first check.By frozen I mean locked in at 80% or so of the full benefit amount.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:35 PM   #54
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They told me that I had to apply in person for survivor benes, not possible online.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:14 PM   #55
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In your shoes, I would go to the local Social Security office and file there. Appointment? My husband just died and I need to get this resolved immediately.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:44 PM   #56
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Yes to just going to the nearest office if you have time. We have done that four times for different issues without an appointment and waited maybe ten minutes.

And again, sorry, Athena . Tough time of year to lose someone you love.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:58 PM   #57
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Hmmm... maybe I should just go over there. I REALLY want to make sure I don't jeopardize benefits on my own record at age 70 by collecting Widow's benefits on DH's now, but I don't think so. It would be good to get an answer, though. I could head over first thing tomorrow AM.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:12 PM   #58
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on the SS site itself it seems to say that widows benefit can begin any time after the age of 60..but drawing before FRA will result in a reduction of the benefit amount. It also says you can switch to your own benefit between 62 and 70 which seems to suggest there is not an age penalty, and then immediately says the rules for this are complicated so you should talk to an SS spokesperson.

Keep in mind some of the recent rule changes were grandfathered in to not effect people closer to FRA. I don't know what the law is, I was just asking if you were sure it wouldn't have an unintended negative effect on you.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:08 PM   #59
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on the SS site itself it seems to say that widows benefit can begin any time after the age of 60..but drawing before FRA will result in a reduction of the benefit amount. It also says you can switch to your own benefit between 62 and 70 which seems to suggest there is not an age penalty, and then immediately says the rules for this are complicated so you should talk to an SS spokesperson.

Keep in mind some of the recent rule changes were grandfathered in to not effect people closer to FRA. I don't know what the law is, I was just asking if you were sure it wouldn't have an unintended negative effect on you.

Thanks. I know I'll get a penalty for not waiting till FRA to collect Widow's benefits (I'm 63) but I'm OK with that. I just want to make darn sure my own benefits will continue to grow and it's worth a face-to-gave discussion to verify that. I'm in the group that could have filed for Spousal benefits at FRA and let my own benefits grow, but that no longer applies to me.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:14 PM   #60
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Thanks. I know I'll get a penalty for not waiting till FRA to collect Widow's benefits (I'm 63) but I'm OK with that. I just want to make darn sure my own benefits will continue to grow and it's worth a face-to-gave discussion to verify that. I'm in the group that could have filed for Spousal benefits at FRA and let my own benefits grow, but that no longer applies to me.
Yes of course you want to know that before you file, when you clarify things would you mind reporting back what you find out? Thanks.
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