Q. I am 75 years old; my wife is 61. I did not start collecting social security until age 70 and receive about $1,650 per month benefit. How much can my wife expect to receive at my death, assuming it happens this year? What would her benefit be at age 65, 66, 67?
A. If Social Security widow benefits begin at or after full retirement age your wife would receive the same benefit you would receive if still alive. Her widow benefit would be reduced for each month of early retirement if widow benefits begin before she reaches full retirement age. The rate of reduction is approximately 5.7 percent per year. The Social Security Administration can provide you a precise amount if you call 1-800-772-1213 or call or visit your local office.