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Ask Megan C Your Own Question
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16547
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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I am going to be 64 this year and will retire at this age.

This answer was rated:

I am going to be 64 this year and will retire at this age. Before I apply for my benefits I would like to know if I am eligible for a portion of my late husbands social security benefits. We were only married 7 years when he died at the age 74, 20 years ago. As you see there was a large age difference. I remarried but I was over the age 60 at the time. Do you need more info for this question?

Megan C :

I realize you have a question about social security. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, and help you better understand your options.

Megan C :

How are you today? I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your late husband.

Megan C :

If you remarried after the age of 60, then you are eligible to draw a survivor benefit off your late spouse's record.

Megan C :

This is allowed. You only had to be married for at least 9 months to earn this benefit.

Customer:

Thank you for your response. Do I wait until I receive my ss benefits before applying for this survivor benefit? I am still employed. Would the amount I draw as a survivor benefit be taxable as long as I'm working?

Megan C :

You can only receive your benefits, or the survivor benefits but not both

Megan C :

You can draw them now, but the amount would be reduced if you make over $15,120 per year

Megan C :

And a portion of it may be taxable as well if you are workinig

Customer:

will a social security employee be able to tell me what is the higher amount when I go for an interview at the time I am ready to apply for benefits? I do not need the funds now and was actually thinking of waiting until I was 66 to draw my ss and live off my 401 K until that time.

Megan C :

Yes, they should be able to tell you what is higher

Megan C :

You can draw the survivor benefit now, and then switch to your own benefit at 66 if you wanted to start receiving something now

Customer:

wow - I had no idea I could do that. But suppose I stop working next June and say I earned 45,000 in those 6 months. would the survivor benefit still be reduced because I was over the $15,120 per year? I suppose it would but it would still be an income for the balance of the year, correct?

Megan C :

Yes, your benefit would be reduced $1 for every $2 you are above $15,120

Megan C :

But, in the first year of your retirement there is a special rule

Megan C :

You get your full benefit each month you earn under $1,200 and do not work substantially

Customer:

oh that's great as after June we will be moving and I will not be earning anything from June to December. In this case I can see there would definitely be a benefit in apply for survivor benefits until I turn 66 in December of 2015. One more question: If I do apply for these survivor benefits it will not reduce MY social security in any way will it?

Megan C :

No, it will not. Your benefit continues to remain the same and accrue retirement credits

Megan C :

Survivor's benefits are the only benefits that you can draw, that won't impact your own benefits when you eventually do retire

Customer:

This is very valuable news to me as I wasn't even going to apply for any benefits until age 66. After I retire in June and if I do decide to take some supplemental monthly income from my 401K, that would not count toward $1,200 a month or would it?

Megan C :

No, your 401(k) funds do not count. Only earned income such as wages from a job counts

Customer:

Thank you very much Megan C. This has been very enlightening and makes me feel more confident that I will have sufficient income to live on before 66. Thanks again!

Megan C :

You're welcome. If you would, please rate as "excellent"

Megan C :

So that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Megan C and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks, Mary for your positive rating. Please come back and visit me any time you have a question that needs answered. It was a pleasure working with you today. Thanks also for the generous bonus.

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