Kiplinger

Social Security Survivors Benefit: Plan for Loss of a Spouse

Savvy husbands and wives spend a lot of time coordinating when to start taking Social Security to maximize their total benefits. But it's just as crucial to plan for when that income is slashed after the first spouse dies. "Anytime a source of income is tied to the life of an individual, you need to look at the impact of mortality of that person," says Paul Gaudio, a wealth planning strategist at Bryn Mawr Trust.

One silver lining in Social Security is that no matter which spouse dies first, the survivor keeps the higher of the two benefits. But you don't get both, says Judith Ward, a senior financial planner for T. Rowe Price.

If a higher-earning husband is

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Kiplinger

Kiplinger3 min read
Why It's Important to Talk to Your Children about Your Financial Plan
As my children grow older, I grapple with a mix of emotions -- some sadness and nostalgia for when they were small enough to sit on my lap, but above all, excitement for them to learn and experience life on their own. Both of my sons are in college n
Kiplinger6 min read
Aldi vs. Whole Foods, Round 2 (After Amazon Cut Produce Prices)
Whole Foods announced another round of price cuts on April 1, this time claiming to lower everyday prices on hundreds of produce items by an average of 20%. Since we just compared prices on 50 grocery staples at Aldi and Whole Foods in October - Al
Kiplinger4 min read
Can Your 401(k) Withstand Market Volatility?
It's no secret that volatility has returned to the stock market. From October 2018 through January 2019, the S&P 500 monthly returns were -6.84%, +2.04%, -9.03% and + 8.01%. Given that most savers have 401(k)s as the main source of their retirement