• Question
  • when can i collect social security

    Asked on 2/15/2008

    My husband was born in 1950 and died in 1993. When can I expect to collect his social security. Or would I be better off to collect my own? I was born in 1952.

  • Categories: Social Security, Spousal and Ex Spouse Benefits


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  • In order to protect your identity from theft -- which can ruin your finances -- please do not ever publish your Social Security number nor give it out to anyone who you don't know and trust.

    We have deleted that information from your question and our records.

    To answer your question:

    The amount you earn from Social Security is based on your top 35 earning years and the amount changes depending on whether you take your Social Security early (at age 62) or wait until you have achieved the maximum retirement age. If you wait, your monthly benefits will be greater.

    Based on the birthdates you gave, your husband died when he was 43 years old. (I am very sorry for your loss.) He probably only worked for approximately 20 of those years. It is not clear whether you have worked or not.

    In your situation, I would recommend that you visit your local Social Security office. You can locate one here: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/fo001.jsp

    You can request information on how much your benefit will be, how much your husband's will be and compare that information.

    I would also recommend that you consider at what age you choose to start your benefits. At the office, you can ask them how much your and your husbands benefits would be if you start at age 62 or later.

    Because Social Security is a lifetime benefit. It is very important for you to consider when to start it. To maximize retirement income, many experts recommend this rule of thumb to retirees:
    -- Don’t take Social Security at age 62 unless you have a very short life expectancy.
    -- If you think that you will likely die before 80, start Social Security sometime between ages 65 and 67.
    -- If you think that you will live beyond 85, delay the start of Social Security until you are 70.

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 2/19/2008
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.