social security question

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LadyIJ
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social security question

Post by LadyIJ »

IF my husband is collecting and I'm getting spousal right now (waiting until I'm 70 - mine is much higher at 70 than he gets). IF I die before him, I always thought he could go to ss and get my higher social security. A friend just said she was told otherwise. Anyone have firsthand experience? It would be comforting for me to know he would get much more if something happened to me.
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JoeRetire
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Re: social security question

Post by JoeRetire »

LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 9:11 am IF my husband is collecting and I'm getting spousal right now (waiting until I'm 70 - mine is much higher at 70 than he gets). IF I die before him, I always thought he could go to ss and get my higher social security.
If your benefits are more than his, he will get survivor benefits based on your income. The actual amount will vary, depending on at what age you pass, and at what age he claims the survivor benefits. Why did your friend think otherwise? What do they think disqualifies him?

It appears that your friend was either confused or was told something incorrectly.
Oh, noooooo! I'm so sorry, it's the moops! The correct answer is 'the moops'.
jrbdmb
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Re: social security question

Post by jrbdmb »

I've just been looking into this for my wife and myself - my SS will be much higher than hers, and I've run different scenarios to see what the impacts are. Main thing I wanted to add is your spouse's Survivor Benefit is based on your benefit at your Full Retirement Age (FRA), not what you expected to get by waiting until 70. His Survivor Benefit will be reduced if he starts getting it prior to his FRA. And it will be reduced by what he is already getting for his Retirement Benefit.

BTW, https://opensocialsecurity.com/ is a great website to check out different scenarios and see how it would affect the benefits for you and your husband.
123
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Re: social security question

Post by 123 »

One of the things that impacts a number of individuals is the impact on Social Security benefits if there was work for a government employer that did not pay into social security. In many cases the actual social security benefit is offset or reduced depending on the amount of the government pension.https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement ... o-wep.html If neither you nor your spouse are eligible for a pension based on work that did not pay into Social Security you don't have to be concerned about it.
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retireIn2020
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Re: social security question

Post by retireIn2020 »

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/survivors/ifyou.html

"If you already receive benefits as a spouse, your benefit will automatically convert to survivors benefits after we receive the report of death.

If you are also eligible for retirement benefits, but haven't applied yet, you have an additional option. You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other (higher) benefit later.

For those already receiving retirement benefits, you can only apply for benefits as a widow or widower if the retirement benefit you receive is less than the benefits you would receive as a survivor."
Retired as of July 2020
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JoeRetire
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Re: social security question

Post by JoeRetire »

jrbdmb wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:09 amMain thing I wanted to add is your spouse's Survivor Benefit is based on your benefit at your Full Retirement Age (FRA)
No, that's incorrect. You are confusing Spousal benefits and Survivor benefits.
Oh, noooooo! I'm so sorry, it's the moops! The correct answer is 'the moops'.
Topic Author
LadyIJ
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Re: social security question

Post by LadyIJ »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:30 pm
jrbdmb wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:09 amMain thing I wanted to add is your spouse's Survivor Benefit is based on your benefit at your Full Retirement Age (FRA)
No, that's incorrect. You are confusing Spousal benefits and Survivor benefits.
so he started collecting at 62. I'm only getting his spousal and waiting, so if I died, he would get what I would get at the time of my death?
So confusing, sorry I have to get over to ss office, but am getting ready for surgery and writing my "Big Book" of instructions.
Carl53
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Re: social security question

Post by Carl53 »

LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:26 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:30 pm
jrbdmb wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:09 amMain thing I wanted to add is your spouse's Survivor Benefit is based on your benefit at your Full Retirement Age (FRA)
No, that's incorrect. You are confusing Spousal benefits and Survivor benefits.
so he started collecting at 62. I'm only getting his spousal and waiting, so if I died, he would get what I would get at the time of my death?
So confusing, sorry I have to get over to ss office, but am getting ready for surgery and writing my "Big Book" of instructions.
If he has reached his FRA at the time of your death, he would get your higher benefit. If he is short of attaining FRA, and the takes survivor benefits it will be slightly reduced. I suspect that since you apparently are 69 or thereabouts, he may also be north of FRA. Once he has attained FRA he will get your entire benefit calculated as if you took it the day you passed, inflation adjusted.

BTW you can use https://opensocialsecurity.com/ and choose the special options including early demise by checking the box at the top.
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JoeRetire
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Re: social security question

Post by JoeRetire »

LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:26 pm so he started collecting at 62. I'm only getting his spousal and waiting, so if I died, he would get what I would get at the time of my death?
Yes. But at minimum your PIA, if you should pass before your full retirement age.
He must file on or after his FRA to get it all, or it will be reduced.
Oh, noooooo! I'm so sorry, it's the moops! The correct answer is 'the moops'.
Topic Author
LadyIJ
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Re: social security question

Post by LadyIJ »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 4:30 pm
LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:26 pm so he started collecting at 62. I'm only getting his spousal and waiting, so if I died, he would get what I would get at the time of my death?
Yes. But at minimum your PIA, if you should pass before your full retirement age.
He must file on or after his FRA to get it all, or it will be reduced.
he already missed that opportunity as he took ss at 62. I called and finally got through to ss - only 45 minutes and then they can't get into my information because I'm taking spousal. However, they did say he would get my PIA (of course, I know what it was when I was 66 but I guess I have to add about 8% increase for 3 years. They didn't say it would be reduced because he took his at 62. I will have to go into the office to find out more when I can find a morning. Thank you.
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JoeRetire
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Re: social security question

Post by JoeRetire »

LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:10 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 4:30 pm
LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:26 pm so he started collecting at 62. I'm only getting his spousal and waiting, so if I died, he would get what I would get at the time of my death?
Yes. But at minimum your PIA, if you should pass before your full retirement age.
He must file on or after his FRA to get it all, or it will be reduced.
he already missed that opportunity as he took ss at 62. I called and finally got through to ss - only 45 minutes and then they can't get into my information because I'm taking spousal. However, they did say he would get my PIA (of course, I know what it was when I was 66 but I guess I have to add about 8% increase for 3 years. They didn't say it would be reduced because he took his at 62. I will have to go into the office to find out more when I can find a morning. Thank you.
This is incorrect. He didn't miss any opportunity for survivor benefits.

As long as he claims survivor benefits after his full retirement age, he'll get the full survivor benefit, not just your PIA. The full survivor benefits will be based on whatever your own benefits are, or whatever benefits you are entitled to if you pass before claiming.

It has nothing to do with when he claimed his own benefits.

The rules for own benefits and spousal benefits are different than survivor benefits.
Oh, noooooo! I'm so sorry, it's the moops! The correct answer is 'the moops'.
Topic Author
LadyIJ
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Re: social security question

Post by LadyIJ »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:50 pm
LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:10 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 4:30 pm
LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:26 pm so he started collecting at 62. I'm only getting his spousal and waiting, so if I died, he would get what I would get at the time of my death?
Yes. But at minimum your PIA, if you should pass before your full retirement age.
He must file on or after his FRA to get it all, or it will be reduced.
he already missed that opportunity as he took ss at 62. I called and finally got through to ss - only 45 minutes and then they can't get into my information because I'm taking spousal. However, they did say he would get my PIA (of course, I know what it was when I was 66 but I guess I have to add about 8% increase for 3 years. They didn't say it would be reduced because he took his at 62. I will have to go into the office to find out more when I can find a morning. Thank you.
This is incorrect. He didn't miss any opportunity for survivor benefits.

As long as he claims survivor benefits after his full retirement age, he'll get the full survivor benefit, not just your PIA. The full survivor benefits will be based on whatever your own benefits are, or whatever benefits you are entitled to if you pass before claiming.

It has nothing to do with when he claimed his own benefits.

The rules for own benefits and spousal benefits are different than survivor benefits.
ah, thank you!!! good to know.
Penguin
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Re: social security question

Post by Penguin »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 4:30 pm
LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:26 pm so he started collecting at 62. I'm only getting his spousal and waiting, so if I died, he would get what I would get at the time of my death?
Yes. But at minimum your PIA, if you should pass before your full retirement age.
He must file on or after his FRA to get it all, or it will be reduced.
Reminder: Your full retirement age for retirement benefits may not match your full retirement age for survivors benefits.
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Eagle33
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Re: social security question

Post by Eagle33 »

Penguin wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:05 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 4:30 pm
LadyIJ wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:26 pm so he started collecting at 62. I'm only getting his spousal and waiting, so if I died, he would get what I would get at the time of my death?
Yes. But at minimum your PIA, if you should pass before your full retirement age.
He must file on or after his FRA to get it all, or it will be reduced.
Reminder: Your full retirement age for retirement benefits may not match your full retirement age for survivors benefits.
IRS link for determining survivor FRA. It may be a couple months prior to his regular FRA that was used to determine his reduced benefit when he claimed on earnings back at age 62.
jrbdmb
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Re: social security question

Post by jrbdmb »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:30 pm
jrbdmb wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:09 amMain thing I wanted to add is your spouse's Survivor Benefit is based on your benefit at your Full Retirement Age (FRA)
No, that's incorrect. You are confusing Spousal benefits and Survivor benefits.
I found info on Investopedia that is more complete than what I initially posted. Thanks for pointing that out.
Benefit amounts are based on how much the deceased would have collected at full retirement age if still living. But if you have begun collecting benefits earlier than your full or "normal" retirement age, resulting in a decreased payout, any benefits paid to your surviving family members will be based on that reduced amount. In addition, the age at which your spouse or dependents begin collecting will affect the size of their benefit.1

IMPORTANT: If you begin to collect Social Security benefits before you reach normal retirement age, not only will you receive a reduced benefit, but after your death, your surviving spouse will, too.
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JoeRetire
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Re: social security question

Post by JoeRetire »

jrbdmb wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:04 am
Benefit amounts are based on how much the deceased would have collected at full retirement age if still living.
This part is incorrect.

It's true only if the deceased died on or before before reaching full retirement age.

But if the late worker had passed their full retirement age, the survivor benefit is based on what the deceased would have collected had he or she claimed benefits in the month of death. That means any delayed retirement credits the late spouse would have earned will count for the widow or widower.

This might help: https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social- ... cting.html

If you want your spouse to be able to collect the maximum survivor benefits, delay until 70 and have your survivor avoid claiming survivor benefits until they reach their full retirement age. If you pass before 70, your survivor will still get any delayed retirement credits.
Oh, noooooo! I'm so sorry, it's the moops! The correct answer is 'the moops'.
jrbdmb
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Re: social security question

Post by jrbdmb »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:14 am
jrbdmb wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:04 am
Benefit amounts are based on how much the deceased would have collected at full retirement age if still living.
This part is incorrect.

It's true only if the deceased died on or before before reaching full retirement age.

But if the late worker had passed their full retirement age, the survivor benefit is based on what the deceased would have collected had he or she claimed benefits in the month of death. That means any delayed retirement credits the late spouse would have earned will count for the widow or widower.

This might help: https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social- ... cting.html

If you want your spouse to be able to collect the maximum survivor benefits, delay until 70 and have your survivor avoid claiming survivor benefits until they reach their full retirement age. If you pass before 70, your survivor will still get any delayed retirement credits.
Thanks again. I had not seen that particular detail posted anywhere. And looking again at Investopedia, their info is downright incorrect (or incomplete). As for ssa.gov itself, I see references to the "deceased worker's benefit amount" but no explanation of what that is. AARP explains things much better than other places I've looked.
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: social security question

Post by oldcomputerguy »

You haven't mentioned whether you have yet passed FRA. This has a bearing on the calculation of his survivor benefit.

If you die prior to reaching FRA, then his benefit will be calculated based on the amount you would have received had you filed at FRA.

If you die after FRA (but before filing for your own benefit), his benefit will be calculated based on the amount you would have received had you filed on the date you died.

Note that in either case his survivor benefit will be reduced if he applies for it prior to reaching "survivor FRA" (which is not the same date as his own retirement benefit FRA).

You should get a copy of Mike Piper's "Social Security Made Simple". It's the gold standard for questions such as this. Mike posts here under the username "ObliviousInvestor".
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