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Martha Shedden is RSSA’s President and Co-Founder. Read Martha’s responses to questions regarding Social Security. View all questions or browse by category. Submit your own question to Martha here.

Am I entitled to receive survivor benefits from my first husband?

Full question: Hi!!! My first husband passed away in 2006 and my children received survivor benefits until they were 18. I remarried, but am now divorced from my second husband. He is not deceased. Can I receive my first husband’s social security. It is higher than mine. I just turned 61. My benefits would be…

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Can a widow (older than FRA) apply for retroactive widow benefits?

Full question: Can a widow who is past FRA and still working apply for widows benefits retroactive to the day she reached FRA? Hello, You may be entitled to monthly survivor benefits retroactively for up to 6 months. Retroactive benefits for months prior to attainment of FRA are not payable to a widow(er) if this…

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My husband is 66 and I am 59. Can I collect spousal benefits?

Hi, The answer is maybe, but not yet. Age 62 is the earliest you are able to collect Social Security retirement and spousal benefits. If you are entitled to collect each of these, you will only collect the higher of the two amounts. Your husband must be collecting his retirement benefit for you to be…

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I want to retire at 62, but my friends told me it is better to wait. What should I do?

Hi there, This is a very common question and unfortunately, I can’t give you an exact answer without doing a thorough analysis. Choosing  the optimal age to file for Social Security benefits is dependent on many factors including, but not limited to your current finances, your life expectancy, and your family.  I suggest reading this…

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I’m 58 years old and plan to retire at age 62. When should I actually apply?

Hello there, It is recommended you apply three months prior to starting benefits. Therefore, if you plan on retiring at 62, you should apply for Social Security when you are 61 years and 9 months. Here is more information about how to apply. Take care, Martha Do you have a question about Social Security? Ask…

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What is the maximum monthly payment someone can receive?

Hello, The maximum amount is dependent on when an individual claims their benefits. For someone reaching FRA (Full Retirement Age) in 2020 who claims their benefits at FRA, the maximum benefit payable would be $3,011. For someone reaching FRA in 2020 who claims benefits early at age 62, the maximum payable benefit would be $2,265….

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