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Old 01-17-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,135 posts, read 12,390,523 times
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Some very specific questions concerning social security payments having to do with what my wife would receive and what if I should die first?

I just turned 63 so this is a little outdated. The updated one was very close so we will go with this one.

I am 1 year 8 months older than my wife.



Some specific questions.

My wife's statement says she is entitled to $460/month @ 62 (she had the important job, she took care of the children) but then I hear she will receive the larger of the two; either her $460/month or 50% of what I would be entitled to. The way I read it if she retires @ 62 she will receive 50% of $1,513 or $756.50 since that is larger than the $460/month her account entitles her to. Is this correct?

I am going to wait to at least 66 before I retire. If my wife puts off collecting until she is 64 will she collect 50% of $2,057 or will she collect 50% of what I would be entitled to had I retired at 64?

My job is easy, it isn't physically demanding and since I enjoy it I plan to work until age 70. If I work until age 70 how much would my wife collect? I think she can only collect half of what I would retire at age 66 and if it is $3,800 for both we would do very well on social security alone.

Now the big questions. If I retire at 66 and die shortly thereafter how much would my wife receive? If I understand it right she would lose her benefit but pick up mine ($2,057/month) since it is the larger of the two benefits. Is this right?

If I work to age 70, retire with $2,764/month if I died would my wife pick up my benefit of $2,764 or would they knock her back to $2,057?

Together we should live very well but what concerns me is if I should die first as most husbands do.

If they are going to knock it back it appears the better plan would be to start collecting at 66, continue to work and save the $2,057/month for four years? That would be $100,000 in the bank which would probably last for 13 or 14 years if withdrawn at $707/month.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,782,708 times
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I very strongly suggest that you pose your questions to SSA directly. A short visit to your local SSA office is the best place to get perfectly reliable information. Your issues are far too important to take the chance of being misinformed from sources other than SSA. I would call ahead at the local office and ask when they are least busy, setup an appointment and go from there.

You also need to be properly advised concerning how much you can earn while concurrently collecting SS$ without encountering a reduction in SS benefits. Again - seek answers from SSA directly.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:37 AM
 
5,825 posts, read 13,321,007 times
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I agree with the advice of calling SSA office. They are very helpful and can answer your specific questions.

From my experience I can tell you that if you are both collecting SS, she will collect her earned SS and you will collect yours. Should you die before your wife, she will be entitled to the amount you were collecting and her entitlement would cease.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,219,341 times
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I agree with the above posters, OP should go to the local SSA field office and speak with a knowledgeable representative. But - I also wanted to point out the following:

Now the big questions. If I retire at 66 and die shortly thereafter how much would my wife receive? If I understand it right she would lose her benefit but pick up mine ($2,057/month) since it is the larger of the two benefits. Is this right?


Your wife would receive less than $2075 IF she chooses to receive survivor's benefits prior to her attaining full retirement age (66). If she first attains full retirement age, then she will receive the full amount.

If I work to age 70, retire with $2,764/month if I died would my wife pick up my benefit of $2,764 or would they knock her back to $2,057?

She would receive the entire $2,764 as she will have reached full retirement age and will receive the amount you would have been entitled to, absent your death.

The rules for survivor benefits are different than for spousal benefits. However, spousal benefits are reduced when the spouse starts receiving spousal benefits prior to reaching full retirement age and survivor benefits are reduced if the survivor starts receiving survivor benefits prior to reaching full retirement age.

Your spouse is not eligible for spousal benefits until you actually apply for benefits. The usual scenario is for the higher earning spouse to apply for benefits at full retirement age, while the lower earning spouse applies for spousal benefits at early retirement age. The higher earning spouse immediately suspends his benefits, while the lower earning spouse continues to draw a (reduced) spousal benefit. In this scenario, the lower earning spouse will receive a reduced retirement benefit for the remainder of her life. However, a reduced retirement benefit will NOT adversely affect the amount of her survivor's benefit.

Obviously, your possible scenario(s) differ from the usual scenario. This is why you MUST go to the local social security field office and speak with a knowledgeable representative.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:03 AM
 
819 posts, read 1,363,987 times
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As the statement says, it is an ESTIMATE, not written in stone. Contact SSA to get generic answers. You will never know the final details until you make your decision and go with it.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:21 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,955,483 times
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I think that you will find tho that the estimate;especailly if your very close to retirement is pretty accurate. She will have the choice of taking your higher amount as previously stated.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:27 AM
 
13,773 posts, read 33,916,851 times
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As a widow who collected on her husband's SS, she will collect what you would get if you die before her. My DH died 52 and I collected his at age 60. At age 66 I started collecting mine which was now more than his. I don't get any of his now, only mine

I agree with calling the SS office, however they can not tell you the exact amt until you retire.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,407 posts, read 21,249,654 times
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How long do you have to be married to share in your husband's SS? Is there a time limit?

Let's suppose you marry someone who hasn't but 6 months to live, who has cancer, is there time restrictions on how you must be married to that man before you collect anything or nothing?

Personally, I know someone who's facing this predicament, if you want to call it that.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:55 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
How long do you have to be married to share in your husband's SS? Is there a time limit?

Let's suppose you marry someone who hasn't but 6 months to live, who has cancer, is there time restrictions on how you must be married to that man before you collect anything or nothing?

Personally, I know someone who's facing this predicament, if you want to call it that.
Ummmm uhhhh yeah there are restrictions to prevent just this.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:02 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
[quote=nicet4;17453786]Some very specific questions concerning social security payments having to do with what my wife would receive and what if I should die first?

I just turned 63 so this is a little outdated. The updated one was very close so we will go with this one.

I am 1 year 8 months older than my wife.



Some specific questions.

My wife's statement says she is entitled to $460/month @ 62 (she had the important job, she took care of the children) but then I hear she will receive the larger of the two; either her $460/month or 50% of what I would be entitled to. The way I read it if she retires @ 62 she will receive 50% of $1,513 or $756.50 since that is larger than the $460/month her account entitles her to. Is this correct?

Do research on the 62/70 SS distribution plan. You seem like perfect candidates for especially if you personally have not declared. It will answer your questions.

The-62-70-Solution: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

Quote:
Part of why the 62/70 solution works is something known as joint mortality. Consider a husband and wife, both born on Jan. 1, 1950. When they become eligible for Social Security at 62, the wife will have a projected life expectancy of 84 years and 8 months. That roughly means there's a 50% chance she'll live that long (roughly, because the median life span is not necessarily the average life span). The husband's life expectancy will be 81 years and 10 months. But there's a 50% chance one spouse will die before 78 and a 50% chance the second will hold on until almost 89, the Government Accountability Office calculates. So, in effect, a woman who takes Social Security at 62 isn't necessarily accepting a smaller payout until 84, but only (on average) until her husband (or she) kicks off shy of 78. And that bigger check that the husband waited until 70 to get? Half the time it will keep coming to one of them for 19 years or more.
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