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Author: TMFPixy Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 20149  
Subject: Re: Widow's Benefits Date: 3/23/2000 11:34 AM
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Greetings, Mimidorf, and welcome. You asked:

<<My husband is 71 and is terminally ill will cancer. I am almost 57 and plan to quit working when I am 60. I know that I can draw widow's benefits at that age. My question is whether I can draw from my Social Security until I am 66 and then get full benefits by changing to his benefits. None of the publications are very clear about that aspect. Can you help me?>>

You have my sympathies on your husband's condition.

As to your query, the Social Security Survivor Benefit booklet says:

Retirement Benefits For Widow(ers)

"If you are receiving widows or widowers (including divorced widows or widowers) benefits, you should remember that you can switch to your own retirement benefit as early as age 62. This assumes you're eligible and your retirement rate is higher than your widow'(er) rate. In many cases, a widow(er) can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate at age 65. The rules are complicated and vary depending on your situation, so you should talk to a one of our representatives about the options available to you."

The last sentence is the important one. I suggest you call the SSA and ask so you can learn what will happen in your situation for sure.

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