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Ask Bob: Claiming Social Security Benefits Under Deceased Spouse or Current Spouse

A widow would like to know what's the best strategy for claiming spousal benefits, now that she's remarried.

Question

My late husband passed away in 2004 at the age of 44, I was 45. I remarried in 2010. I am 62 now. Can I draw Social Security from my husband now or my late husband if better than my own?

Answer

She is eligible for her current husband's benefits or her own, says Catherine Gearig, CFP®, LifePlan Financial Advisory Group. But, she is not eligible to collect on her deceased husband in her current situation.

“If she had waited to remarry until after age 60 she would have been able to collect on the previous first husband's benefits,” says Gearig.

“If for some reason she divorced the second husband or he died, she would be eligible to file for benefits under her first or second husband's work record,” she adds. (Note: In the case of divorce from the second husband, they would have had to have been married for at least 10 years in order for her to claim.)

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Question

My late husband passed away in 2004 at the age of 44, I was 45. I remarried in 2010. I am 62 now. Can I draw Social Security from my husband now or my late husband if better than my own?

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