SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

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alaskantraveler
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SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by alaskantraveler » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:44 pm

I am asking this on behalf of my father. My mother recently passed at age 61. My father who is 62 has not claimed ss. I looked through other posts, but it was not clear for this situation where the spouse had not yet reached even early retirement age.

So can my father claim on my mother's record even though she passed at 61?
Does he have to wait until my mother would have been 62?

He would claim on her record until he reached 66 in 4 yrs, then claim under his own larger benefit.

supersharpie
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Re: SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by supersharpie » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:06 pm

My condolences. Your father can file immediately. Survivors may begin collecting benefits the month they turn 60, regardless of the DOB of their spouse.

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dodecahedron
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Re: SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:10 pm

I am sorry for your family's loss.

Your father can claim on your mother's record now even though she would not yet be able to collect on her own record if she were alive. His survivor's benefits will be reduced somewhat because he is claiming before his FRA. Once a spouse has died, the other spouse can receive surviving spouse benefits as early as age 60 (or even age 50 if disabled), regardless of the spouse's date of birth.

Your father may want to continue collecting his survivor benefits all the way until he is 70, at which point he can switch to his maximized own record benefits.

One thing to take into account: is your father still working? Until he hits FRA, his earned income in excess of $16,920 could reduce his current benefits. If he will make more than double the amount of his benefit above the $16,920, then his benefits will be entirely zeroed out. However when he hits FRA, his benefits will be adjusted to take the reduction into account. However, if he plans to switch to his own record benefit at that point, this would do him little good.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

billfromct
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Re: SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by billfromct » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:27 pm

Is your father still working? You don't make that clear.

If he is still working & making over $16,920 per year, $1 in SS benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earned income over the $16,920 threshold.

It's my understanding that his monthly SS survivor benefit will be adjusted when he reaches his full retirement age to take into account the survivor benefits withheld. There are no earnings restrictions once he reaches full retirement age.

There have been some SS changes over the past couple of years so you may want to check out the SS website.

bill

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dodecahedron
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Re: SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:31 pm

billfromct wrote:
There have been some SS changes over the past couple of years so you may want to check out the SS website.

bill
There have been some changes which affect benefits for those with living spouses but they don't affect the options for surviving spouses such as the OP's father. That said, checking the SS website and running careful calculations to be certain of the best plan is a good investment of time. I am a surviving spouse myself and although I considered myself knowledgeable about Social Security I discovered there was a lot I didn't know. I am grateful to sscritic, Mike Piper (oblivious investor on this board), and others for helping me to think through my choices carefully.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alaskantraveler
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Re: SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by alaskantraveler » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:32 pm

billfromct wrote:Is your father still working? You don't make that clear.

If he is still working & making over $16,920 per year, $1 in SS benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earned income over the $16,920 threshold.

It's my understanding that his monthly SS survivor benefit will be adjusted when he reaches his full retirement age to take into account the survivor benefits withheld. There are no earnings restrictions once he reaches full retirement age.

There have been some SS changes over the past couple of years so you may want to check out the SS website.

bill
Yes he is still working. Plans to work till 65 when he can retire with a pension. My mother's earnings record wasn't that much as she was a homemaker for most of her adult life. Her FRA benefit was around $800/month. In my my father's case he wants to wait until 66 to claim on his own record. Even if 50% of the benefit is withheld, what does he have to lose. It is probably only a few hundred dollars per month.

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dodecahedron
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Re: SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:44 pm

alaskantraveler wrote:
billfromct wrote:Is your father still working? You don't make that clear.

If he is still working & making over $16,920 per year, $1 in SS benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earned income over the $16,920 threshold.

It's my understanding that his monthly SS survivor benefit will be adjusted when he reaches his full retirement age to take into account the survivor benefits withheld. There are no earnings restrictions once he reaches full retirement age.

There have been some SS changes over the past couple of years so you may want to check out the SS website.

bill
Yes he is still working. Plans to work till 65 when he can retire with a pension. My mother's earnings record wasn't that much as she was a homemaker for most of her adult life. Her FRA benefit was around $800/month. In my my father's case he wants to wait until 66 to claim on his own record. Even if 50% of the benefit is withheld, what does he have to lose. It is probably only a few hundred dollars per month.
If your father has more than minimal earnings in his current job, he will lose 100% of her benefit, not 50% of the benefit. For every two dollars he earns above $16,920, he will lose one dollar of her benefits. So it won't take much earnings at all for a benefit based on a PIA of $800 to totally zero out. If he is going to retire at 65, I'd suggest starting survivor benefits when he retires. He will collect more that way in the year between 65 and 66 than if he files right now and gets zeroed out benefits that he is never rewarded for deferring.

alaskantraveler
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Re: SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by alaskantraveler » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:59 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
alaskantraveler wrote:
billfromct wrote:Is your father still working? You don't make that clear.

If he is still working & making over $16,920 per year, $1 in SS benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earned income over the $16,920 threshold.

It's my understanding that his monthly SS survivor benefit will be adjusted when he reaches his full retirement age to take into account the survivor benefits withheld. There are no earnings restrictions once he reaches full retirement age.

There have been some SS changes over the past couple of years so you may want to check out the SS website.

bill
Yes he is still working. Plans to work till 65 when he can retire with a pension. My mother's earnings record wasn't that much as she was a homemaker for most of her adult life. Her FRA benefit was around $800/month. In my my father's case he wants to wait until 66 to claim on his own record. Even if 50% of the benefit is withheld, what does he have to lose. It is probably only a few hundred dollars per month.
If your father has more than minimal earnings in his current job, he will lose 100% of her benefit, not 50% of the benefit. For every two dollars he earns above $16,920, he will lose one dollar of her benefits. So it won't take much earnings at all for a benefit based on a PIA of $800 to totally zero out. If he is going to retire at 65, I'd suggest starting survivor benefits when he retires. He will collect more that way in the year between 65 and 66 than if he files right now and gets zeroed out benefits that he is never rewarded for deferring.
So Pension Income and withdrawls from TIRA will not affect Earned Income, only wages?

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dodecahedron
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Re: SS Survivor Benefits for 62 male. Spouse died at 61

Post by dodecahedron » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:30 am

alaskantraveler wrote:
So Pension Income and withdrawls from TIRA will not affect Earned Income, only wages?
Only wages and self-employment would affect Earned Income for this calculation. You are correct that neither pension income nor withdrawals from TIRA would affect Earned Income for this purpose.

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