Over the weekend, we were discussing Social Security, doesn’t everyone? I was telling my Husband that I do not plan on drawing my Social Security benefit until age 70, then he can have a larger Spousal benefit. In the world of Social Security benefits, the Husband is generally the primary wage earner, with the Wife pulling Social Security benefits off his record. Given this statistic, why would you pull benefits early and make things worse for your future widow?
Researchers performed an experiment that revealed that husbands did not change their choice of claiming age even after they were educated about the basics of how their claiming age could impact their spouse’s survivor’s benefits.
For example, the study found husbands tend to claim benefits earlier when they have one of the following:
A defined-benefit pension
Retiree health insurance
A health condition that limits their ability to work
While spousal benefits are limited to half a spouse’s benefit, survivor’s benefits can be up to 100 percent of the deceased’s benefit amount.
Thus, the longer a husband delays claiming his own benefits, at least up until age 70, the larger his future widow’s monthly survivors benefit would be.