Ask Rusty – Surviving Spouse Benefits Explained
Dear Rusty: If I file at age 63 what percentage does my wife receive if I die? Does this percentage change if I wait to file closer to my full retirement age? And what does my wife receive if I die before I file for my benefits? Signed: Planning Ahead
Dear Planning: When you file for your own Social Security benefit will affect the survivor benefit your wife is entitled to as your widow. If you claim at age 63, her benefit as your widow will be based on your age 63 amount. If you wait longer to claim your own Social Security, your own benefit will be higher and so will your wife’s entitlement as your survivor. In other words, your wife’s benefit as your widow will be based on the amount you are receiving when you die, and the longer you wait to claim your own Social Security, the higher your wife’s survivor entitlement will be.
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