Decisions you make about Social Security benefits don't just affect you. They can also have an impact on what your family receives.

In the following video from our Social Security Q&A series, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, answers a question from Fool reader Mike, who asks how his taking early Social Security at age 62 would affect his wife and whether her benefits get added to their family total when she reaches full retirement age.

Taking early Social Security has an impact on the survivor benefits your spouse would be eligible to receive after your death, but a lot depends on your spouse's own work history and how much in benefits that work history would produce. Moreover, it makes a huge difference when your spouse claims benefits, as waiting until full retirement will lead to a higher amount than claiming early. The specifics of your situation will dictate the full effect of your early-retirement decision.

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

Dan Caplinger and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.