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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jun 16, 2014.

Question

I am 64 and a high wage earner. My wife is 23 and no income. How do I maximize her income from SS after my death??

Answer

You should not begin to collect Social Security until you are at least 70.  In addition, if you continue to work beyond 70, your benefit will continue to grow.  Your wife can maximize the benefit she receives by waiting until her full retirement age to begin collecting (she could start any time after age 60 as a survivor).  If in the future, your wife does work and has income that makes her eligible for Social Security on her own account, she can switch to her own benefits from age 62 to age 70.   Social Security rules are complex.  You may want to consult with a Social Security representative to review your particular situation.


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