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Social Security: Will You Get the Survivor Benefits You Deserve?

Social Security is a key benefit for retirees after they quit work. But it's also an essential part of financial planning for survivors after their spouses pass away. It's important to get the information you need to make an informed decision about survivors' benefits under Social Security.

In this installment of our Social Security Q&A series, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, answers a question from David, who asks about the details of widow and widower benefits. Dan confirms that surviving spouses are eligible to receive benefits at age 60, but you'll take an almost 30% haircut on your survivors' benefits if you do so compared to waiting until full retirement age. In addition, Dan goes through the ins and outs of how to coordinate survivors' benefits with Social Security payments based on your own work history, noting that in some cases, delaying your own benefits can lead to greater lifetime total payments than switching to your own benefit at age 62. Dan recommends visiting the Social Security Administration website's section on survivors' benefits as a smart resource for planning for retirement.

How to get even more income during retirement
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, but it's not the only way to boost your retirement income. In our brand-new free report, our retirement experts give their insight on a simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule that can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Have general questions about Social Security? Email them to SocialSecurity@fool.com, and they might be the subject of a future video!


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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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