When Should Working Widows Take Their Social Security Benefits? – Finger Financial Five #137

“We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.” – Tim McGraw

Summer traffic in Myrtle Beach can be a bit of a grind for us locals. The main roads that go north and south are Bypass 17, Robert Grissom, and Business 17. Either road can get you there. Which one is best depends on what day of the week, time of day, and time of year.

When widows should take Social Security also depends on a variety of factors, just like deciding what road is the fastest.

Widows between the ages of 60 and 70 who qualify for both a survivor benefit based on their deceased spouse’s work record and a retirement benefit based on their own work record have a unique opportunity to coordinate the two benefits to maximize the advantage.

There are two roads the widows can take.

First, they can start a reduced survivor benefit as early as age 60 and switch to their own maximum benefit at age 70. 

Or second, if the survivor benefits at Full Retirement Age would be higher than their own benefit if taken at 70, they can start their own reduced retirement benefit at 62 and switch to the full survivor benefit at FRA. Remember, survivor benefits max out at Full Retirement Age, unlike Social Security on your own work record, which max out at age 70. 

Complications happen when the surviving spouse works. There can be withholding of checks if he or she makes over a certain amount.

You REALLY need to run calculations to decide the best option for you. I have heard stories that the Social Security office gives information that needs to be corrected. So please double-check your options. 

Feel free to call us at 843-970-1049. We will be happy to run some options and see which “road” is right for you. 

If you are so inclined, you can vote for Riverbend Wealth Management as “Best of the Beach”. CLICK HERE to cast your vote. You can vote each day until June 30th. 

On the lighter side, Iren leaves for Bulgaria to see her parents this week. Elliott and I are going on July 6th

Hope all is well with you and your family,


Finger Financial Five – 5 points in 5 minutes or less – is to provide you with a weekly shot of useful financial information.  My intention is to share principles, so that you will have more clarity and peace, that help you make better financial decisions. 

Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor.  Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC and Riverbend Wealth Management are separate entities. 

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Riverbend Wealth Management. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Stratos Wealth Partners and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

Riverbend Wealth Management does not compensate existing or former clients for testimonials or endorsements.


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