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Old 02-12-2015, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
Survivor's benefits are complicated. The only two things that determine the monthly amount received are the spouses' benefit amounts and the survivor's age when filing for benefits. If you are FRA you will receive an amount equal to 100% of your spouse's monthly benefit, assuming your monthly benefit is lower.

Here are examples of how this works:


Mrs. Make-Believe has the following benefits:

Age 62: $908
FRA: $1,358
Age 70: $$1,730

Mr. Make-Believe has the following benefits:

Age 62: $1,022
FRA: $ 1,435
Age 70: $1,993

Example 1: Mr. M-B had filed at FRA and was receiving $1,435 monthly. He dies a year later. Mrs. M-B collects survivor's benefits at age 60. She will receive approximately 70% or around $1,005 per month.

Example 2: Mr. M-B was receiving full retirement benefits of $1,435 at the time of his death. His wife waits until age 62 to file for survivor's benefits. She will receive about 82% of his benefit, approximately $1,177. At FRA she can switch to her own record and receive $1,358, or she can wait until age 70 to receive $1,730


NOTE: Widow/ers are able to file for reduced survivor's benefits at age 60 or 62 and years later change to full benefits on their own record. Or, they are able to file for reduced retirement benefits at age 62 on their record and then change to full survivor benefits at FRA later. You must be a widow/er to do this.

Example 3: Mr. M-B was receiving full retirement benefits of $1,435 at the time of his death. Mrs. M-B was also collecting her full retirement benefit of $1,358. When Mr. MB dies, Mrs. MB will receive $1,358 on her record plus an additional $77 on Mr. M-B's record, for a total monthly benefit of $1,435.

Example 4: Mr. M-B was receiving full retirement benefits of $1,435 at the time of his death. His wife is 60 at the time of his death. She waits until FRA to collect survivor's benefits. She will receive $1,435.

Example 5: Mr. M-B waits until age 70 to collect retirement benefits. He receives $1,993 monthly. He dies at age 72. Mrs. M-B is past FRA and has been collecting $1,358 monthly. Mrs. M-B will receive $1,993 monthly.

Example 6: Mr. M-B intends to wait until age 70 to collect retirement benefits. However, he dies at age 69. Mrs. M-B is FRA. She will receive the $1,435 + approximately $344 (approximately 24%) in his delayed retirement credit for a total of $1,779.


Hope this helps.
However, if the spouse does not qualify for SS on her own work/employment record, then, per my local SS Office, she gets a spousal benifit of 50% of the spouses SS payment once he/she begins drawing. If the spouse with the SS entitlement passes, the surving spouse looses the spousal benifit, and get 75% of the SS drawing spouses retirement benifit.

Using a $1,000 as the SS benefit (for ease of the mathematics), then:
SS recipient = $1,000
Spouse benefit = $500
Couple gets = $1,500 while both are alive.

Spouse dies:
SS Recipient = $1,000
Spousal benefit = $0
SS Recipient gets = $1,000

SS Recipient dies:
SS recipient = $0
Spouse benefit = $0
Survivor benefit = $1,000 x 75% or $750 to the non SS qualified spouse.

That has changed how we are looking at are finances. It will likley cause me to work part time for a few more years, rather than retire and stop working (I have a pension), and I will not draw SS until FRA, and we are seriously considering waiting until I am 70 - so my wife can draw 75% of a significantly larger benefit.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:20 PM
 
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Tuck, double check the 75% figure. I believe the 75% would involve a family situation with dependent children. In a situation where all children are grown and there are no dependents, the widowed spouse receives 100% of the survivor benefits.

Example: Mr. M-B dies at FRA and was receiving $1435 monthly. His wife waits until she is FRA to file for Widow's Benefits. She has never worked. She would get 100% of his FRA benefit, $1435.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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Just in case they haven't been married 10 years - a spouse has to stay married to someone for 10 years before they can collect on that spouse's benefits, if I remember correctly. I know this is true of people who have divorced. She may want to check on that, too.

Maybe someone here knows? Does it matter how long she was married to her husband in order to collect his benefits, if she was married to him at time of death?
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Old 02-13-2015, 04:12 AM
 
71,769 posts, read 71,875,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
Tuck, double check the 75% figure. I believe the 75% would involve a family situation with dependent children. In a situation where all children are grown and there are no dependents, the widowed spouse receives 100% of the survivor benefits.

Example: Mr. M-B dies at FRA and was receiving $1435 monthly. His wife waits until she is FRA to file for Widow's Benefits. She has never worked. She would get 100% of his FRA benefit, $1435.
that is correct.

there are two moving targets.

what age did the dying spouse take ss and what age did the surviving spouse take ss.

the first cut from fra is if the dying spouse took ss before their fra.

the 2nd cut comes if the surviving spouse files before their fra.

the best case scenerio is they get 1/2 of what the dying spouse got. the worst case scenario is the survivor benefit is only 48% of what they would have gotten if the dying spouse didn't file early and they themselves waited intil fra for survivor benefits..

if the widow has their own work record they could take their own until fra and then take survivor benefits but they need to be able to live on their own record benefit.


the loss of 1 check and a widow who has to file at 6O can be quite devastating for themselves.

this is a big problem when many husbands look at taking ss early as a what if i die ? case instead of a what if i live or my spouse lives scenario.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:36 AM
 
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http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v67n4/67n4p1.html:

"The Social Security program also provides benefits to widow(er)s of deceased workers. The benefit for widow(er)s can equal 100 percent of a deceased spouse's PIA if the surviving spouse begins to collect benefits at the FRA. A reduced benefit (from 71 percent to 99 percent of the deceased's PIA) is available as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled). Divorced surviving spouses may also qualify if their marriage lasted at least 10 years. Qualifying widow(er)s must have been married to the deceased spouse for at least 9 months and have not remarried before the age of 60 (50 if disabled) (SSA 2007b). Since these duration requirements are fairly short, this article assumes that they have been met."

I added the bold.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:19 AM
 
Location: East Coast
2,903 posts, read 4,587,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LibraGirl123 View Post
This is a good point because if she is 60 years old and really needs the money, she can start taking survivor benefits, which would be 100% of what her husband was receiving. (Normally, you can't take your own benefits or spousal benefits until 62.) However, they WILL be reduced if she takes them that early.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
nope ,this is not correct .
Ooops! In rereading this, I believe the part that I bolded was incorrect.

I was in a hurry, and I should know better...I qualify for survivor benefits (husband passed away at 45), but I'm waiting 'til my FRA.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:26 AM
 
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Found this article while surfing. It is interesting:

Why Many Widows Lose Nothing from Taking Survivor Benefits Early | Making Sen$e | PBS NewsHour
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