Ask Rusty – What Do My Wife, and my Ex-wife, Get If I Die?

Dear Rusty: I am a 77 year old married male. I am retired and started drawing Social Security at age 66, and my monthly amount is a little over $3,000. My present wife is 52 and employed, and we have been married for 22 years. I also have an ex-wife who is 85, not married, and drawing Social Security. My ex-wife and I were married 13 years.

When I am deceased, what happens to my Social Security benefits? When my present wife decides to receive SS benefits, would she draw the higher benefit of our monthly amounts? Would my ex-wife be able to increase her benefit? Signed: Planning Ahead

Dear Planning Ahead: In the event of your death, here is how Social Security eligibility would work for your current wife and for your ex-wife:

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