Ask Rusty – When Is My Wife Eligible for Full Survivor Benefits?
( Letter to the Editor )
Dear Rusty: I heard my spouse will get 100% of my Social Security when I pass if she is at her full retirement age (FRA), which is 66 years and 8 months. But I also heard that full widow benefits for those born in 1958 are available at 66 years and 4 months. Which is correct?
Then I heard that her getting 100% of my social security is NOT the case because I started social security at 70. I heard this is because widow benefits are based on my benefit at my full retirement age. So, will my wife get 100% of my Social Security if she starts it at her FRA, or will she get my smaller FRA amount?
My wife is now getting spousal benefits and I also heard that for those getting spousal benefits, Social Security automatically changes that to widow benefits when the other spouse passes. If I die before my wife reaches her FRA, can she tell Social Security to NOT give her widow benefits at that time? Can she wait until she is at her FRA and then start widow benefits to get 100% of mine?Signed: Concerned Husband
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