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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/widows-ability-to-collect-social-security-21482354.aspx

Subject:  Widows ability to collect Social Security Date:  10/21/2004  6:40 PM
Author:  jpink Number:  196133 of 744814

Hi all,

If there is a better board for this question, please advise, but here is my query:

My wife's father passed away when she was four. He would be 71 years old if he were still alive. The other day, his widow, my mother-in-law, who is now 63, was in the Social Security office taking care of some business for her mother. While in the office they told her she is eligible to receive her husband's social security benefit for the next year or so (until she is eligible to collect, I guess). I am wondering if anyone understands the situation and can explain this to me, so I can explain it to my mother-in-law. It seems that if she were able to start collecting her deceased husband's benefit now, why couldn't she have started when he would have been eligible (6 years ago)? Is it only coming up now that he would have been 71 (I guess that's 401k that you have to start collecting at 71.5, so maybe that age is not important). Could she collect on his benefit and put off collection on hers? Does that make any sense or is there any benefit? I might be confusing SS with 401k again. Any insight will be greatly appreciated.

John
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