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<<How does marriage affect our social security dollars. Do we get less or more as a couple, and if less, is the tradeoff worth what may be more costly individual medical. >>

You also indicated that your SS was higher than your potential mate's. Marriage will probably not affect either of your current SS checks unless one is substantially larger than the other's. If you both draw your own retirement checks, marriage will not change that. If one or both receive a divorced spouses benefit or Widow/widower's benefit, marriage could affect the benefit amount of one or both of you.

As far as survivor benefits go, if you pass away first, your spouse is eligible to receive SS equal to your payment if it is higher. For example, your payment is $800, spouse gets $600. When you die, your spouse would then be eligible for a TOTAL of $800 in SS benefits (their $600 + an additional $200). These are payable as long as the spouse is full retirement age (currently age 65) or older at the time of spouse's death.

Reverse the situation and your spouse dies first. You continue to get your $800 and nothing else would be payable to you from SS.

SS is your best source of info about how marriage will or will not affect your current monthly payment.
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