RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS –  Special rules apply to your Social Security if you lose a spouse — or an ex-spouse. So, heaven forbid, but if you are widowed, you might be eligible for Social Security widow(er) payments. That’s true even if you are divorced when your former spouse dies, provided you were married for 10 years. Most importantly, it is important to settle funeral pre-arrangement plans early in life so that your family will be ready when the unexpected happens. The Social Security payments are much needed for funeral home cost and other expenses that comes along with your spouse’s death.

If you are at least “Full Retirement Age” (currently 66) when you file, you get up to 100% of your spouse’s Social Security payment. Earlier filing means reduced payments, down to 71.5% at age 60 — not 62 like regular Social Security.

Think of it this way. If you and your spouse are both getting Social Security, you’re over age 66, and one of you dies, the survivor gets the higher of the Social Security checks for the rest of their life.

Caring for one or more kids? You could even get a 75% payment at any age, if you were married at the time of death (or divorced after a 10-year marriage), have limited earnings, and are caring for the surviving child under age 16. The child could also be paid, typically until high school graduation. For young families, this can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace the worker’s paycheck. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

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