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One more SS question
Old 07-26-2009, 06:30 AM   #1
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One more SS question

I have plowed through the information here and at the SS website. There is one issue on which I need clarification.

If a person takes their SS benefit early - I understand it will be permanently reduced. I have the reduction chart.

If my husband dies....and I wait until my full retirement age (only taking MY reduced benefit until that time), will I then be eligible for his SS without reduction?

Example: I take my reduced benefit at 63.

My husband dies at 66............(Now I am also 66). Will my widow's benefit be his full benefit at 66 ....or will it be based on a reduced amount because I took my own benefit early?
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:02 AM   #2
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According to this (fourth question), "if you are full retirement age or more when widow benefits begin, your monthly benefit as a widow would be the full amount your husband would receive if still alive."

Q. I made a mistake when applying for SS benefits at 62 on my work record believing that I can switch to my husband higher benefits when he reaches 65. Little did I know that I would be stuck with a reduced benefits for life. My question is if my husband dies before me, am I still stuck with this reduced benefits? Will Social Security allow me to switch to my husband full benefits or only to 80% of his full benefits?

A. A wife receives whichever benefit is the greater amount her own Social Security retirement benefit or a spouse benefit based on her husband's Social Security earnings record. Each benefit is reduced for months of early retirement. The reduction lasts only until you are widowed.

If you are full retirement age or more when widow benefits begin, your monthly benefit as a widow would be the full amount your husband would receive if still alive. Your early retirement on your own earnings record would no longer matter.
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