Q. I have been married for 25 years. I am very ill with a terminal condition. My wife is 61 years old. I retired at age 70 and receive a monthly Social Security benefit of $1,850. Should I die, in mid 2011 – a distinct possibility – what monthly benefit would my wife receive for the remainder of this year?

A. Please call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 for an estimate of the benefit your wife would receive if she were widowed. They can provide you a precise figure for any month.