Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
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You can receive one benefit at the time. When one of you dies, the other will become eligible for surviving benefits (80 - 100% of the deceased spouse). Generally, you will receive the highest benefits available to you, your own or widow/er, but not both.
When your spouse start her benefits before her full retirement age 66, all her benefits, current and future will be permanently reduced. Which means she will not be eligible for 100% of your benefits as a widow.
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