Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Spouses Need to Think Carefully About When to Take Social Security Benefits

SSWhen a person decides to take Social Security is important as it determines the amount of benefit to be received. Social Security benefits are maximized if the person waits until they are 70. A spouse is usually entitled to an amount equal to half of the higher earner’s benefits. Once the spouse dies, the survivor is entitled to 100 percent of the deceased person’s benefit.

Social Security makes up an average of 40% of people’s retirement income and “is more valuable than most people think,” said Diane Pearson a wealth advisor and shareholder at Legend Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh.

"One of the first questions everyone asks about Social Security is: Will it be there in the future? Pearson said yes. The $2.9 trillion Social Security Trust Fund is enough money to pay 100 percent of the benefits due to retirees through 2034, at which point benefits will be reduced to 77 percent of what is due unless changes are made."

See Karen DeMasters, Spouses Need to Think Carefully About When to Take Social Security Benefits, Financial Advisor, August 8, 2018.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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