Are you familiar with the estimates available if you have a my Social Security account? You can get an estimate of your own personal retirement benefits and see the effects of different retirement age scenarios. BUT, did you know you can also view benefits that you may be able to receive on your spouse’s/ ex-spouse’s record? One more reason to create a my Social Security account:
The Q&A for the month:
Question: Wife is age 67 and has been receiving her SS for 3 years. Her husband is age 68 and took a spousal benefit at his FRA 66 and hopes to let his own SS benefit increase and then file on his own benefit at age 70. The wife is terminal and probably will not live another year. If she dies while he is still 68…can he continue the spousal benefit until he turns age 70 as he was planning? Or, will the spousal benefit stop for him and he’ll be forced to file on his own benefit immediately if he wishes to keep receiving a SS benefit payment?
Answer: If he becomes a widower prior to age 70, and he’s already receiving spouse’s benefits, that spouse’s benefit will automatically convert to a widower’s benefit. He will need to apply for his own retirement benefits because that does not happen automatically. He can apply for his own retirement benefits online four months in advance of when he wants his benefits to begin. If he doesn’t want to apply online, he can call and make an appointment. He can call our national toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 or his local office. Use our Office Locator to obtain the local office telephone number.