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Losing a loved one is never easy. The survivor benefits that Social Security can provide may help you return to a sense of security during this difficult time.

If your spouse worked and paid into the Social Security system, you will likely be entitled to some level of survivor benefits. The amount you receive will depend on your age when you claim. You can start receiving payments as early as 60, or age 50 if you have a disability, but your payments will be lower than if you wait until your full retirement age.

If you are eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on your own earnings record and you’re already receiving your payments, you can choose to take the higher of the two benefits, either yours or the survivor benefit.

But if you haven’t started collecting on your own record, here’s a helpful strategy to consider. You may be able to maximize your total benefit by collecting the survivor benefits now and deferring your own Social Security payments until you reach age 70.

This strategy allows your own benefit to grow at a simple rate of 8% per year every year between your full retirement age and age 70. It is also important to know that if you remarry before age 60, you will lose eligibility for the survivor benefits. There are some exceptions, however, so if you find yourself in the situation of remarrying, it’s a good idea to connect with the Social Security Administration to understand your options.

And here’s another little-known fact. If you were divorced from the deceased, you may still be eligible for survivor benefits based on their earning record. Your first step to resolving this question is to get on the phone with the Social Security Administration. However, it can be confusing and disorienting to make that call alone, which is why I believe partnering with a financial professional who can help cut through the noise and be your advocate can be so beneficial.

My name is Sobhi and I’m a Financial Advisor with Savant Wealth Management. If you’ve lost a spouse and need help putting your financial life back together, I encourage you to get in touch. Call (866) 489-0500 | Go to: www.savantwealth.com/schedule-call

Let’s figure this out together.

Author Sobhi Baghdadi Financial Advisor

Sobhi has been involved in the financial services industry since 2015. Before transitioning to his current role, he was a financial planner for Savant. He earned an MBA from Rockford University and speaks Arabic, French, and a little bit of Hebrew.

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