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Old 09-04-2014, 12:24 AM
 
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Not for me, but for a couple of people around me who insist they have the right answer, and I'm not so sure.

1) Woman was married for over ten years and then widowed. Due to financial need, she took her widow Soc. Security at age 60 and is convinced she can add her own Soc. Security at age 66. I thought you only got whichever was higher, the widow payment or your own.

2) Friend took her Soc. Security at age 63 because she wasn't planning to work any more and needed the money. She insists that she would have gotten the same payout at age 66 because she wasn't paying any more in- I thought she would have gotten more at age 66 because she'd be three years older and her collecting years would be cut by three years.

Not critical to get the answers, I just realized I've been tossing these questions back and forth for some time. For myself, I'm waiting until 66 if all goes well and will be getting the max. Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:15 AM
 
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if she took widow benefits at 60 she can switch to her own from 62 on if it is higher ,but it does not get added to her widow benefit, it is instead of.



your friend is wrong as long as she has 35 working years. there will be a tiny reduction for not working right up to the moment you file but it is not much at all.
the difference between taking it at 63 and fra is far greater.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:44 AM
 
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Thank you for the answer. In the first case, I think the person is waiting until FRA (66) and thinks she is going to add her own (higher) Soc. Security to her widow's payment and is counting on this as a huge increase in her finances.

In the second case, I'm not sure I understand the answer. My friend who took her Soc. Sec. at 63 gets about $1100/month. I'm sure she had income over 35 years, but was rarely if ever at max. Do you mean if she'd waited until 66 (FRA) she would have gotten substantially more even if she stopped working at 62 like she did? Thanks for the info. She claims her brother-in-law, the accountant, told her that it didn't make any difference. My thought is, just because he's an accountant doesn't mean he knows that much about the in's and out's of Social Security.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:50 AM
 
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ss increases at about 6 or 7% a year plus colas for every year you wait from 62 to fra.

it increases about 8% a year after that.

ss is based on your 35 highest working years inflation adjusted so usually once you have those 35 years in unless your final years saw a big jump the die is cast for the amount.

they do make tiny adjustments though if you retire earlier than fra and stop paying in but do not collect until fra.

but those tiny adjustments are small compared to the difference by waiting until fra. the accountant as usual is wrong if he is telling her the difference between a benefit at 63 and collecting fra is the same as stopping work at 63 and not collecting until 66
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
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"If a person receives widow's or widower's benefits, and will qualify for a retirement benefit that's more than their survivors benefit, he or she can switch to their own retirement benefit as early as age 62 or as late as age 70."

Survivors Planner: Social Security Benefit Amounts For The Surviving Spouse By Year*Of*Birth

"The earlier you start drawing Social Security, the smaller your monthly payment will be. If you start at 62, you will receive 25 percent less per month than you would at your full retirement age of 66 (if you were born between 1943 and 1954). For those born later, the reduction grows gradually to 30 percent. The retirement age is 67 for people born in 1960 or later. For those born between 1955 and 1959, a few months are added each year to bridge the gap from 66 to 67.
If you can wait until you’re 70 to claim Social Security, your monthly payment will be 32 percent more. Waiting until after 70 does not increase your monthly benefit."

To Claim or Not to Claim: When Should You Take Social Security? - US News
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:10 AM
 
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The op was questioning whether they get both the survivor and their own not either or.

no they do not get both together.


they were also questioning whether stopping work before fra but not filing before fra will affect their ss as much as filing at 63 instead of fra,

again , no ,early ss will be a lot less then just stopping work at 63 and not filing.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:41 AM
 
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Mathjak said,
"The accountant as usual is wrong if he is telling her the difference between a benefit at 63 and collecting fra is the same as stopping work at 63 and not collecting until 66."

It's a bit worse than that- she stopped working at 62, was collecting unemployment, and then filed for Soc. Security at 63. If that combination of not working/filing resulted in $1100/month, approximately how much would she have collected if she stopped working at 62 and didn't file until FRA? Thanks so much for the answers.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:45 AM
 
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there is a calculator on the ss website
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:46 AM
 
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the way I understood the question asked is the OP was asking if you stopped working at age 63 and contributed no more to social security would your social security payment be considerably more if you stopped working at 63 and waited to collect at FRA, not paying into SS those 3-4 years or so?
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Mathjak said,
"The accountant as usual is wrong if he is telling her the difference between a benefit at 63 and collecting fra is the same as stopping work at 63 and not collecting until 66."

It's a bit worse than that- she stopped working at 62, was collecting unemployment, and then filed for Soc. Security at 63. If that combination of not working/filing resulted in $1100/month, approximately how much would she have collected if she stopped working at 62 and didn't file until FRA? Thanks so much for the answers.

She only needed to look at the "myssa.gov" page or read her annual statements sent to her HOR. It points out monthly income at 62, FRA(66), and 70. If she stopped working at say 62 and didnt contribute nor collect the amount on the statement would be pretty darn close either way.
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