Most advisors are probably already familiar with a simplified version of the widow calculation which says that the surviving spouse receives the higher of his or her own benefit, or the benefit of the deceased, which may have been reduced or increased depending on if and when the deceased filed for Social Security benefits. But there are several layers of complexity to the widow(er) benefit that make it difficult to determine whether to claim widow(er) benefits early, when to wait, and when to switch to the survivor’s own benefit. There are actuarial reductions for the widow who claims early and a widow limit. Learn how to run scenarios for your widowed clients and help them determine when to claim benefits with this case study.
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