Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Social Security & A Widow's Distribution

A news article last week raised my eyebrow, and my claws--- but the title is misleading.

Widows Getting Cheated Out of Social Security Really? A title like that brings to mind deliberate oversights by Social Security administration. They throw enough red tape and hassle at a widow anyway, but--thank goodness-- they're not out to deliberately cheat widows at this point.

What the article really emphasizes is how a married couple can go to a financial planner, and select their retirement goals and plans without considering the likely scenario of what will happen if the wife is widowed. Shame on the financial planner!

Moral of the story--- even though your husband's gone, check into your Social Security benefits  and any distribution options you may have already selected. Make sure you understand the long range outcomes. Find out if you have any better options.

Today I posted "Find the Papers & You'll Find the $$$" up at the top of this blog. Although it's intended to help new widows prepare for the days to come, other readers might find some good tips too. If you have other $ tips for widows, please chime in so we can all learn from each other. Thanks!


  1. I saw that title on Yahoo yesterday and immediately clicked on the link to read the article. I came across a lot of these types of "financial planners" when I had my tax business. I was glad to see that Social Security is trying to get the FP to see the "whole" picture. An interesting line in the article states that a widow could start to collect on her husbands benefits at an earlier age and then when she reaches full retirement age, if her benefits on her work history are larger, she could switch to the larger amount. Currently, my husbands benefits are higher than mine, but I am still working part-time and adding to my benefits. I am going to check into collecting the widows benefits when I turn 60 - now that I know I may be able to switch to my own benefits at age 67.

  2. thank you, Teri! It's always good to hear from someone in the industry. If you have other tips or come across other articles please send them my way too, ok? All the info we can gather helps widows ask the right questions and make informed decisions. As much as I'd personally like to, we never should just put our brain in neutral and let others decide everything for us. It sounds like you've got some options that would also apply to many others---and you know them---which, as the article points out, many women do not. thanks again!


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