Social Security Second Wife

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anonsdca
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Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:53 pm

Hello All,

I have been doing some research but not finding what I need. I am 51, my wife is 37. We have been married 6 years. I will claim SS benefits at age 62. At that time, we will have been married 17 years. I will be 62, she will be 48.

What is she entitled to if I die? I want to make sure she gets what is entitled if/when I die. She is my second wife.

I was married to my first wife 8 years so from my reading, my first wife will have no claim.

Are there some good sources I can research? Or does anyone have any info they can share? Thanks!

randomguy
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by randomguy » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:59 pm

anonsdca wrote:Hello All,

I have been doing some research but not finding what I need. I am 51, my wife is 37. We have been married 6 years. I will claim SS benefits at age 62. At that time, we will have been married 17 years. I will be 62, she will be 48.

What is she entitled to if I die? I want to make sure she gets what is entitled if/when I die. She is my second wife.

I was married to my first wife 8 years so from my reading, my first wife will have no claim.

Are there some good sources I can research? Or does anyone have any info they can share? Thanks!


It doesn't matter how many exwives and wifes you have. It is all about being married for 10 years. If you had 4 exs all with 10 years of marriage, they would all get the same amount of money as 1 wife who was married to you for 40 years.

And for unsolicited advice, if your wife is going to be making a claim using your SS, you will be the poster child for waiting til 70 given how long she is likely to outlive you.

anonsdca
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:07 pm

@ randomguy- thanks for the info in your paragraph 1. Good to know. I suspect my current and second wife will be the only wife with 10 years in :-)

Not sure I understand your second paragraph, but make no mistake. I will NOT be waiting until 70 to claim SS. I will be doing that at 62, in fact three months earlier than my 62nd Bday. If you can elaborate on your comment that might help me understand your meaning, but it is likely not going to influence my decision to take SS at 62. I know my situation fairly well. Thank you again.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by grabiner » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:17 pm

anonsdca wrote:Not sure I understand your second paragraph, but make no mistake. I will NOT be waiting until 70 to claim SS. I will be doing that at 62, in fact three months earlier than my 62nd Bday. If you can elaborate on your comment that might help me understand your meaning, but it is likely not going to influence my decision to take SS at 62. I know my situation fairly well. Thank you again.


After you die, your widow gets a benefit equal to what you received while you were alive. If you wait to claim SS, your benefit will be larger, but you have fewer years to take the benefit. Normally, this is close to break-even; you'll get about the same amount over your lifespan if you live to your life expectancy, (Even that is a good deal because you get more money if you live longer, which is when you would need it.) But if your wife outlives you by ten years, then she gets ten more years of the higher benefit.
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anonsdca
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:25 pm

@ grabiner-Thank you for your response! You said:

>>>After you die, your widow gets a benefit equal to what you received while you were alive<<<<

I say awesome! That is what I wanted to hear! Do you have a link to an official source that spells that out for me/us? I understand (and thank you for clarifying) that the longer I wait, the more she gets. That goes the same for me. We will NOT be waiting to 70. I will take at 62.

Thank you!

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by randomguy » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:33 pm

grabiner wrote:
anonsdca wrote:Not sure I understand your second paragraph, but make no mistake. I will NOT be waiting until 70 to claim SS. I will be doing that at 62, in fact three months earlier than my 62nd Bday. If you can elaborate on your comment that might help me understand your meaning, but it is likely not going to influence my decision to take SS at 62. I know my situation fairly well. Thank you again.


After you die, your widow gets a benefit equal to what you received while you were alive. If you wait to claim SS, your benefit will be larger, but you have fewer years to take the benefit. Normally, this is close to break-even; you'll get about the same amount over your lifespan if you live to your life expectancy, (Even that is a good deal because you get more money if you live longer, which is when you would need it.) But if your wife outlives you by ten years, then she gets ten more years of the higher benefit.


Yep. SImple example
you get 1k at 62 and 2k at 70 (not exact but close enough)
Normally if you die at 84 it doesn't matter, you get the same amount of money out of the system. But when you die at 84, your wife is only 70. In the first case she gets 1k/month for the rest of her life. In the second she gets 2k.

Case 1 SS pays out : 1k*26*12=312k
case 2 SS pays out: 2k*18*12= 432k

Now it is a lot more complex in the real world but you get the general idea. There are additional benefits in that SS is a fixed income stream which allows you to be more aggressive about spending down other assets.

Obviously this is a very, very high level discussion and with nothing about your specific case. I am sure you have some reasons why you think 62 is the right thing for you. You need to run the math and decide how those assumption balance out leaving your wife less money when you die. You end up having to make a bunch of assumptions.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:44 pm

@ randomguy- Thanks for your elaboration. I appreciate that!

I have given considerable thought to where we will be, our current/future finances, health, the SS system, politics, etc. That is why I KNOW I will take at 62. There is No question for me.

Tho I am 11 years away from , I can say with certainty, I will not wait. I am glad my wife will get my full benefit when I go. I have set up other income that will aid her, so SS is just a portion. Thanks!

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by grabiner » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:47 pm

anonsdca wrote:@ grabiner-Thank you for your response! You said:

>>>After you die, your widow gets a benefit equal to what you received while you were alive<<<<

I say awesome! That is what I wanted to hear! Do you have a link to an official source that spells that out for me/us?


The SSA official web site https://www.ssa.gov has all the details. The rules for widow(er)'s benefit are at

Amount of survivors benefit

So if you die and your widow is at least 67 (her full retirement age), or waits until 67 to get her widow's benefit, she gets a benefit equal to whatever you were getting before you died. If you take a reduced benefit at 62, this reduces her benefit; conversely, if you wait until 70, so that you get more than the normal benefit, so does she.
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:58 pm

@ grabiner- Now, I am confused again,

You are not dressing the core of my question. My wife is MUCH younger than I am--- as I posted in the original post. I want to now how much of my SS she gets??

Lets say I claim at 62 and my benefit is $1,500. I die the next day, we are married 10+ years, she is 47. How much does she get?

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by mhalley » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:19 pm


anonsdca
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:28 pm

@ malley --No & no, thanks for the links. I will explore. We may have a child soon tho.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by grabiner » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:01 pm

anonsdca wrote:@ grabiner- Now, I am confused again,

You are not dressing the core of my question. My wife is MUCH younger than I am--- as I posted in the original post. I want to now how much of my SS she gets??

Lets say I claim at 62 and my benefit is $1,500. I die the next day, we are married 10+ years, she is 47. How much does she get?


If you die at 62, your widow's benefit is $1500 at her full retirement age. If she is at least 67 when you die, or waits until 67 to get her widow's benefit, she gets $1500 (adjusted for cost of living). She can also get a reduced benefit at 62.

Check the links for more details.
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:46 pm

Thank you.

As much as I thank you for this response, I don't this think we addressed the age gap but I mighted have missed it.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by 2comma » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:47 am

anonsdca wrote:@ grabiner- Now, I am confused again,

You are not dressing the core of my question. My wife is MUCH younger than I am--- as I posted in the original post. I want to now how much of my SS she gets??

Lets say I claim at 62 and my benefit is $1,500. I die the next day, we are married 10+ years, she is 47. How much does she get?


At 47 she will get nothing from SS if you die the next day! The earliest she can claim her spousal benefit on your record is when she is 62 (so that's 15 years of no spousal SS payments for her) and that will be reduced because 67 is her full retirement age (so to get the full $1500 of her spousal benefit she would have to wait 20 years). I hope you have adequate assets to protect her. Even if you both live to a ripe old age she should outlive you by about 16 years.

SS, unlike private pensions doesn't penalize you if your spouse if younger. SS is also Cost Of Living Adjusted so whatever she starts getting will be worth about the same as it was when she first started getting it. You can't say that about most private pensions, or cash, and maybe not investments. As long as you know you'll have her covered take SS when you want. What many are trying to say here is that delaying your SS is a very good way of protecting your wife should she outlive you for a very long time.
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:58 am

2comma wrote:
anonsdca wrote:@ grabiner- Now, I am confused again,

You are not dressing the core of my question. My wife is MUCH younger than I am--- as I posted in the original post. I want to now how much of my SS she gets??

Lets say I claim at 62 and my benefit is $1,500. I die the next day, we are married 10+ years, she is 47. How much does she get?


At 47 she will get nothing from SS if you die the next day! The earliest she can claim her spousal benefit on your record is when she is 62 (so that's 15 years of no spousal SS payments for her) and that will be reduced because 67 is her full retirement age (so to get the full $1500 of her spousal benefit she would have to wait 20 years).


2comma doesn't have this quite right. There are no "spousal" benefits after you die, but there will be widow's benefits, and those have somewhat different rules. She can collect widow's benefits as early as age 60 (or even at age 50 if she is disabled) but her widow's benefits will be reduced compared to what she will get if she waits to collect until her full retirement age of 67.

The foregoing assumes you do not have any minor children at the time of your death. If you do have a child and die while your child is under 18, your child will get survivor benefits and your wife will also get young-widow with child-in-care benefits until your child is 16. (If the child is disabled, both these benefits can continue longer.)

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by 2comma » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:46 am

Thanks dedecahedron for pointing my erors, I stand corrected.!
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by JW-Retired » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:51 am

anonsdca wrote: My wife is MUCH younger than I am--- as I posted in the original post. I want to now how much of my SS she gets??

Lets say I claim at 62 and my benefit is $1,500. I die the next day, we are married 10+ years, she is 47. How much does she get?

As others said, it depends on what age she takes it. But the main thing is if she doesn't take her widow benefit prior to being FRA (67 for her), then she would get an amount equal to what you were drawing at the time you died. Or, if you were not yet drawing SS, it's either your FRA amount (if you have not reach FRA), or if over FRA the amount you would draw if you had claimed on the date you died.

The likely thing is you will live to be older than 70. With an age 62 benefit of $1500, if you waited until 70 to take your SS benefit it would have been 1.75x$1500 = $2625 instead of $1500. Probably she would draw that $2625 amount (continuously adjusted for the cost of living) for a very long time after you pass.

That's the reason many/most people (like me) with a high benefit compared to their spouse are advised to delay until 70.
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by Watty » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:01 am

That all assumes that you had a lot higher inflation adjusted income than her inflation adjusted income.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by Da5id » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:04 am

dodecahedron wrote:2comma doesn't have this quite right. There are no "spousal" benefits after you die, but there will be widow's benefits, and those have somewhat different rules. She can collect widow's benefits as early as age 60 (or even at age 50 if she is disabled) but her widow's benefits will be reduced compared to what she will get if she waits to collect until her full retirement age of 67.

The foregoing assumes you do not have any minor children at the time of your death. If you do have a child and die while your child is under 18, your child will get survivor benefits and your wife will also get young-widow with child-in-care benefits until your child is 16. (If the child is disabled, both these benefits can continue longer.)


Worth noting that widow child-in-care benefits are means tested. Child benefits themselves are unconditional. Also worth noting that you lose survivor benefits for social security if you remarry before 60.

And you know your own situation best, but as others said above a wife 14 years younger than you seems like the textbook situation to delay social security...

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by JW-Retired » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:37 am

Watty wrote:That all assumes that you had a lot higher inflation adjusted income than her inflation adjusted income.

Yes. I had the impression that OP wife had/will have very little SS earnings. Looking back over the thread that may have been wrong.
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:33 am

Da5id wrote:Worth noting that widow child-in-care benefits are means tested.


Widow-child-in-care benefits have an earnings test but not a "means test." In other words, widow could collect widow-with-child-in-care SS benefits even if she has large assets and investment income (e.g., from invested proceeds of a life insurance policy) but if she has significant EARNED income, her young-widow-child-in-care benefits can be reduced.

Da5id wrote: Child benefits themselves are unconditional.


This is not actually true. Surviving child benefits won't be reduced to due to the widow's earnings BUT they are also subject to an earnings test based on the earnings of the child. This rarely comes into play, since typical teenage earnings would not trigger a reduction but potentially a child actor or even a young waiter in an upscale restaurant with lots of tips could see benefits reduced to his own earnings.

Da5id wrote: Also worth noting that you lose survivor benefits for social security if you remarry before 60.


Yes, definitely the widow benefits stop if she remarries before 60, but surviving child benefits will continue without regard to marital status of the mother.

Da5id wrote:And you know your own situation best, but as others said above a wife 14 years younger than you seems like the textbook situation to delay social security...


This is generally true but complicated if the OP has young children. Keep in mind that if the OP still has children under 18 when he reaches age 62 (and is hopefully still living), those dependent children can receive benefits while their father is living, once he has filed.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:37 am

hat tip to sscritic for calling Da5id's response to my attention. This is a very complicated situation.

anonsdca wrote:
Are there some good sources I can research? Or does anyone have any info they can share? Thanks!


I would strongly recommend that you get further education on this subject. Grabiner's link above deserves very careful reading. Mike Piper's book, Social Security Made Simple, provides an excellent tutorial introduction to the issues involved.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by BlackStrat » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:41 am

I'm a little confused. I take from this that if someone is divorced (and not remarried) and either spouse dies, the other (ex) can claim survivor benefits on the deceased spouse as long as they had been married for 10+ years.

What happens if someone is married only a couple of years and one spouse dies. Will the other partner(now a widow/widower) be able to claim survivor benefits without being married for 10 years?

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:47 am

BlackStrat wrote:I'm a little confused. I take from this that if someone is divorced (and not remarried) and either spouse dies, the other (ex) can claim survivor benefits on the deceased spouse as long as they had been married for 10+ years.

What happens if someone is married only a couple of years and one spouse dies. Will the other partner(now a widow/widower) be able to claim survivor benefits without being married for 10 years?


The ten-year minimum rule only applies to divorced ex-spouses. It does not apply to a surviving spouse widow or widower who was still married to the decedent on the date of death. There are some (much shorter) minimum length of marriage rules in those cases (designed to keep SS-earners from marrying on their deathbeds purely for SS reasons) but even these may not apply if it can be shown that the death was totally unexpected (e.g., from a freak accident.)

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by JW-Retired » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:55 am

BlackStrat wrote:What happens if someone is married only a couple of years and one spouse dies. Will the other partner(now a widow/widower) be able to claim survivor benefits without being married for 10 years?

Goggling says married only 9 months is enough. But I couldn't find a SS document that said anything about how long.
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:59 am

dodecahedron wrote:This is generally true but complicated if the OP has young children. Keep in mind that if the OP still has children under 18 when he reaches age 62 (and is hopefully still living), those dependent children can receive benefits while their father is living, once he has filed.

It's actually a little better than that. I filed early, at 62, only because of my children's benefit. They received a good amount monthly until the earliest of: reaching age 19, graduating high school (our personal end of benefit), or getting married. There might have been some other concluding events, but that's what I remember. I would have waited, but iirc, they got 42 person-months of benefit.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:48 am

JW-Retired wrote:
BlackStrat wrote:What happens if someone is married only a couple of years and one spouse dies. Will the other partner(now a widow/widower) be able to claim survivor benefits without being married for 10 years?

Goggling says married only 9 months is enough. But I couldn't find a SS document that said anything about how long.
JW


This is getting REALLY far afield of the OP's question, because OP's marriage is already well past the minimum required of a surviving spouse still married to the decedent on date of death, but a comprehensive discussion of mitigating exceptions to the general 9-month rule in case of unexpected death is here:
https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200305105

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by Da5id » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:49 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Da5id wrote:Worth noting that widow child-in-care benefits are means tested.


Widow-child-in-care benefits have an earnings test but not a "means test." In other words, widow could collect widow-with-child-in-care SS benefits even if she has large assets and investment income (e.g., from invested proceeds of a life insurance policy) but if she has significant EARNED income, her young-widow-child-in-care benefits can be reduced.

Da5id wrote: Child benefits themselves are unconditional.


This is not actually true. Surviving child benefits won't be reduced to due to the widow's earnings BUT they are also subject to an earnings test based on the earnings of the child. This rarely comes into play, since typical teenage earnings would not trigger a reduction but potentially a child actor or even a young waiter in an upscale restaurant with lots of tips could see benefits reduced to his own earnings.

Da5id wrote: Also worth noting that you lose survivor benefits for social security if you remarry before 60.


Yes, definitely the widow benefits stop if she remarries before 60, but surviving child benefits will continue without regard to marital status of the mother.

Da5id wrote:And you know your own situation best, but as others said above a wife 14 years younger than you seems like the textbook situation to delay social security...


This is generally true but complicated if the OP has young children. Keep in mind that if the OP still has children under 18 when he reaches age 62 (and is hopefully still living), those dependent children can receive benefits while their father is living, once he has filed.


Thanks for all the corrections, social security is indeed a very confusing/complex set of laws/regulations/decisions. I went through this myself, and they didn't even ask during my appointment with an SSA agent how much my children made so I gather it isn't even common enough to come up in the process? I knew the widow aspect was income tested, I just used "means" incorrectly.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by pshonore » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:10 pm

Da5id wrote:
dodecahedron wrote:
Da5id wrote:Worth noting that widow child-in-care benefits are means tested.


Widow-child-in-care benefits have an earnings test but not a "means test." In other words, widow could collect widow-with-child-in-care SS benefits even if she has large assets and investment income (e.g., from invested proceeds of a life insurance policy) but if she has significant EARNED income, her young-widow-child-in-care benefits can be reduced.

Da5id wrote: Child benefits themselves are unconditional.


This is not actually true. Surviving child benefits won't be reduced to due to the widow's earnings BUT they are also subject to an earnings test based on the earnings of the child. This rarely comes into play, since typical teenage earnings would not trigger a reduction but potentially a child actor or even a young waiter in an upscale restaurant with lots of tips could see benefits reduced to his own earnings.

Da5id wrote: Also worth noting that you lose survivor benefits for social security if you remarry before 60.


Yes, definitely the widow benefits stop if she remarries before 60, but surviving child benefits will continue without regard to marital status of the mother.

Da5id wrote:And you know your own situation best, but as others said above a wife 14 years younger than you seems like the textbook situation to delay social security...


This is generally true but complicated if the OP has young children. Keep in mind that if the OP still has children under 18 when he reaches age 62 (and is hopefully still living), those dependent children can receive benefits while their father is living, once he has filed.


Thanks for all the corrections, social security is indeed a very confusing/complex set of laws/regulations/decisions. I went through this myself, and they didn't even ask during my appointment with an SSA agent how much my children made so I gather it isn't even common enough to come up in the process? I knew the widow aspect was income tested, I just used "means" incorrectly.
I believe the earnings test for a kid is the same as an adult, widow, etc; roughly 15K of earned income (wages, etc) before benefits are reduced. There aren't many kids under 18 making that, but some probably do.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by furnace » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:54 pm

2comma wrote:
anonsdca wrote:@ grabiner- Now, I am confused again,

You are not dressing the core of my question. My wife is MUCH younger than I am--- as I posted in the original post. I want to now how much of my SS she gets??

Lets say I claim at 62 and my benefit is $1,500. I die the next day, we are married 10+ years, she is 47. How much does she get?


I hope you have adequate assets to protect her. Even if you both live to a ripe old age she should outlive you by about 16 years.



That's a nice thought, but I don't see why the 2nd wife cannot re-marry and move on with her life. Just try to stay in shape and the rest will take of itself :mrgreen:

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by BigSaver » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:04 pm

OP: Double-check everything you read here with official ssa.gov information. [end of disclaimer]

The age difference between you & your wife does not factor into Soc. Security widow benefits. If you are married when you pass, your widow is eligible for a widow's benefit based on your work record. She can collect it as young as her age 60, with reduction. Or she can wait until her full-retirement-age and collect more.

If she has her own work record, she can let her benefit grow and switch from widow benefit to her own SSA benefit (under her work record) later, if she wants.

There is no widow benefit before age 60, to my knowledge.

SSA.gov has reasonably well-written information on widow benefits. Read it and re-read it (and re-read it again!) to familiarize yourself with the rules.

Obviously, any/all of your ex-wives are not considered "widows" when you pass; only the person you were married to at the time of your death is your widow. This is the definition of "widow".

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by pshonore » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:10 pm

BigSaver wrote:Obviously, any/all of your ex-wives are not considered "widows" when you pass; only the person you were married to at the time of your death is your widow. This is the definition of "widow".
But if you had four ex-wives (or husbands) collecting spousal benefits, would they not all get switched to widow's benefits?

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:36 pm

BigSaver wrote:OP: Double-check everything you read here with official ssa.gov information. [end of disclaimer]

The age difference between you & your wife does not factor into Soc. Security widow benefits. If you are married when you pass, your widow is eligible for a widow's benefit based on your work record. She can collect it as young as her age 60, with reduction. Or she can wait until her full-retirement-age and collect more.

If she has her own work record, she can let her benefit grow and switch from widow benefit to her own SSA benefit (under her work record) later, if she wants.

There is no widow benefit before age 60, to my knowledge.

SSA.gov has reasonably well-written information on widow benefits. Read it and re-read it (and re-read it again!) to familiarize yourself with the rules.

Obviously, any/all of your ex-wives are not considered "widows" when you pass; only the person you were married to at the time of your death is your widow. This is the definition of "widow".


Thank you! I am not the OP, but I am in a very similar position. The paragraph I bolded is the question I was wondering about, and quite possibly the clarification that OP was asking for.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by BigSaver » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:45 pm

pshonore wrote:
BigSaver wrote:Obviously, any/all of your ex-wives are not considered "widows" when you pass; only the person you were married to at the time of your death is your widow. This is the definition of "widow".
But if you had four ex-wives (or husbands) collecting spousal benefits, would they not all get switched to widow's benefits?

I think you are correct. After reading your post, I found the following info which does say that ex's are entitled to survivor benefits if married at least 10 years; and the benefits can begin at age 60.
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou3.html
I didn't realize this, so thank you for the chance to correct myself.

BigSaver
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by BigSaver » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:48 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
BigSaver wrote:OP: Double-check everything you read here with official ssa.gov information. [end of disclaimer]

The age difference between you & your wife does not factor into Soc. Security widow benefits. If you are married when you pass, your widow is eligible for a widow's benefit based on your work record. She can collect it as young as her age 60, with reduction. Or she can wait until her full-retirement-age and collect more.

If she has her own work record, she can let her benefit grow and switch from widow benefit to her own SSA benefit (under her work record) later, if she wants.

There is no widow benefit before age 60, to my knowledge.

SSA.gov has reasonably well-written information on widow benefits. Read it and re-read it (and re-read it again!) to familiarize yourself with the rules.

Obviously, any/all of your ex-wives are not considered "widows" when you pass; only the person you were married to at the time of your death is your widow. This is the definition of "widow".


Thank you! I am not the OP, but I am in a very similar position. The paragraph I bolded is the question I was wondering about, and quite possibly the clarification that OP was asking for.

You're welcome. Here's a link to info on the SSA web site to back up the statement which you bolded.
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ ... rtred.html
This paragraph:
    "If a person receives widow's or widower's benefits, and will qualify for a retirement benefit that's more than their survivors benefit, he or she can switch to their own retirement benefit as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The rules are complicated and vary depending on the situation, so talk to a Social Security representative about the options available."

anonsdca
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:46 pm

All good folks who responded to this post, THANK YOU! Seems I have some nice links to read and educate myself. I will go back an answer some of the individual questions posed by some, but after reading all the responses, it seems like I really need to educate myself on widow and minor child benefits of SS.

I don't plan on dying at 62 + 1 day (I am generally healthy), but if I did---all of you are right. I need to know what happens to a younger spouse and a young child. I knew posting this kind of a question on this forum would give me great input. I was not disappointed. Thank you all.

anonsdca
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:48 pm

2comma wrote:Thanks dedecahedron for pointing my erors, I stand corrected.!



Thank you both, much to investigate!

anonsdca
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:51 pm

JW-Retired wrote:
Watty wrote:That all assumes that you had a lot higher inflation adjusted income than her inflation adjusted income.

Yes. I had the impression that OP wife had/will have very little SS earnings. Looking back over the thread that may have been wrong.
JW



You are correct. My wife will not have much SS earnings. Some but not a lot.

anonsdca
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:53 pm

dodecahedron wrote:hat tip to sscritic for calling Da5id's response to my attention. This is a very complicated situation.

anonsdca wrote:
Are there some good sources I can research? Or does anyone have any info they can share? Thanks!


I would strongly recommend that you get further education on this subject. Grabiner's link above deserves very careful reading. Mike Piper's book, Social Security Made Simple, provides an excellent tutorial introduction to the issues involved.


Will do, thanks fro the advice!

anonsdca
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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by anonsdca » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:55 pm

BigSaver wrote:OP: Double-check everything you read here with official ssa.gov information. [end of disclaimer]

The age difference between you & your wife does not factor into Soc. Security widow benefits. If you are married when you pass, your widow is eligible for a widow's benefit based on your work record. She can collect it as young as her age 60, with reduction. Or she can wait until her full-retirement-age and collect more.

If she has her own work record, she can let her benefit grow and switch from widow benefit to her own SSA benefit (under her work record) later, if she wants.

There is no widow benefit before age 60, to my knowledge.

SSA.gov has reasonably well-written information on widow benefits. Read it and re-read it (and re-read it again!) to familiarize yourself with the rules.

Obviously, any/all of your ex-wives are not considered "widows" when you pass; only the person you were married to at the time of your death is your widow. This is the definition of "widow".


Will do Big Saver. Nice advice

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by bsteiner » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:03 pm

randomguy wrote:... Obviously this is a very, very high level discussion and with nothing about your specific case. I am sure you have some reasons why you think 62 is the right thing for you. You need to run the math and decide how those assumption balance out leaving your wife less money when you die. You end up having to make a bunch of assumptions.


He might be in poor health so he would do better by taking his benefits at 62. His wife might also be in poor health so that even though she's much younger she may not expect to live long enough to collect much if anything in the way of surviving spouse benefits.

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Re: Social Security Second Wife

Post by SuzBanyan » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:37 am

anonsdca wrote:
JW-Retired wrote:
Watty wrote:That all assumes that you had a lot higher inflation adjusted income than her inflation adjusted income.

Yes. I had the impression that OP wife had/will have very little SS earnings. Looking back over the thread that may have been wrong.
JW



You are correct. My wife will not have much SS earnings. Some but not a lot.

It may make sense for your wife to continue to work even after you retire to increase her SS benefits based on her own earnings.

As a younger spouse myself, I realize it is not ideal to have my husband retired while I go to work each day. However, because I continued working, I am still able to retire in my 50's and delay my SS to age 70 when it will --slightly-- bump up my husband's SS benefit.

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