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Old 12-16-2015, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Poster said his wife is at her FRA. Would that not mean that she is entitled to his FRA as a survivor benefit immediately as she is at FRA?
Yes she would immediately be eligible for his full benefit amount that he would have received had he lived.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,224,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Poster said his wife is at her FRA. Would that not mean that she is entitled to his FRA as a survivor benefit immediately as she is at FRA?

Not necessarily. There are two factors: the age of the surviving spouse, in OP's case, FRA and 2) the age of the deceased spouse when he died. If the deceased spouse, OP, dies tomorrow, his wife's benefit will be based on what his benefit would be tomorrow had he not died. OP is NOT of FRA, so his wife's benefit will most likely be less than what she would have received had he died AFTER reaching his FRA.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:58 PM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,079,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
If the deceased spouse, OP, dies tomorrow, his wife's benefit will be based on what his benefit would be tomorrow had he not died. OP is NOT of FRA, so his wife's benefit will most likely be less than what she would have received had he died AFTER reaching his FRA.
Are you sure? According to https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/onyourown5.html
Quote:
How much your family would receive in benefits depends on your average lifetime earnings. The higher your earnings were, the higher their benefits would be. We calculate a basic amount as if you had reached full retirement age at the time you die.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:05 PM
 
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That is the way i understood it too. It is based on full if the deceased never filed for ss either because they were to young or were delaying if over 62
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,224,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
I'll have to look it up again but here's what I believe SSA is saying. Average lifetime earnings are usually higher when the wage earner reaches full retirement age. For example, if I stopped working at 58 years old, my benefits at FRA would be significantly lower than if I had stopped working when I reached 66 because my average lifetime earnings do not include my highest earning years. However, I realize there are posters on this board who have reached their maximum average lifetime earnings in their late 50s.

OTOH, this would be incredible news for my friend whose spouse died when he was 29 or 30 years old. She would receive a benefit that would be the same as if he had paid into Social Security another 30 or so years.

Here's a link to an article that describes the two factors that determine a survivor's benefit.

Forbes Welcome

Back to the reading room.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:26 PM
 
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By the same token anyone who retires early and stops working at peak earnings will get a little less if they delay , self included since i retired at 63
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:24 AM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,171,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
If the deceased spouse, OP, dies tomorrow, his wife's benefit will be based on what his benefit would be tomorrow had he not died.
That would be zero, so I suspect this answer is not correct. Other posters have replied; I'll read them all and see what I can learn.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
That is the way i understood it too. It is based on full if the deceased never filed for ss either because they were to young or were delaying if over 62
That is how I read the SSA web site too, which is good for my wife if I die early. However, my plan is to take benefits at 70 and not die :-)

thanks!
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:42 AM
 
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Good luck with that plan. The good news is you can't let us know if it does not work out. Ha ha ha
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:13 AM
 
Location: R.I.
985 posts, read 608,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
I'll have to look it up again but here's what I believe SSA is saying. Average lifetime earnings are usually higher when the wage earner reaches full retirement age. For example, if I stopped working at 58 years old, my benefits at FRA would be significantly lower than if I had stopped working when I reached 66 because my average lifetime earnings do not include my highest earning years. However, I realize there are posters on this board who have reached their maximum average lifetime earnings in their late 50s.

OTOH, this would be incredible news for my friend whose spouse died when he was 29 or 30 years old. She would receive a benefit that would be the same as if he had paid into Social Security another 30 or so years.

Here's a link to an article that describes the two factors that determine a survivor's benefit.

Forbes Welcome

Back to the reading room.
I was widowed when I was 44 and my husband was 49. I received a very lengthy survivor benefit estimate from SS. SS projects based on annual salaries up to the time of death what the deceased annual salaries would have likely been had they lived to FRA and that is what the benefit is calculated on.

In my situation my benefit is higher, but I plan to take my reduced survivor's benefit at 64.5 to age 70 because at age 64.5 being a Fed Gov employee I will have 20 years of service which changes my pension multiplier from 1% to 1.1 %. In the 5.5 year prior to age 70 I will draw off my TSP to make up the difference of the annual income I want that my SS and pension won't provide. When I hit age 70 my SS and pension will produce that same or slightly higher annual income if I get COLAS without the need to utilize my TSP to make up the difference. I will continue to have to draw from my TSP by law, but those funds I will not need to live on and will utilize to invest in my grand children's college fund.

I have done many calculations and even considered taking my own benefit at my FRA which is 66.5, but in doing this I will always need to supplement with my TSP to produce the income I want. The drawn down will be certainly less that in was in those initial 5.5 years, but this creates a high possibility that I will out live my TSP funds.

As it has been said many times on this forum everyone is in a different situation with regards to the whys and whens of claiming SS and SS survivor's benefits. For me, my survivor's benefit provides me 1/3 the income I need to live on in those years prior to taking my own benefit and at 70.
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