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What Happens to Me When My Husband Dies?

Q. My husband is 62 and has colon cancer. The doctors say he may not live much longer. I am 61 and don’t work. If he passes, can I draw on his Social Security, and how much can I expect to get?

A. Generally, a surviving spouse can collect benefits as early as age 60. However, if you start collecting before your full retirement age of 66, the amount would be reduced. If you choose to get survivor benefits at age 62, you would receive 81 percent of the full benefit amount. To see how your age affects your benefit amount, go to the chart on the Social Security Administration website at www.socialsecurity.gov/survivorplan/1945s.html.

Source: Social Security Administration

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