Q. I am a 61-year-old widower. My wife was employed by a school district as a teacher. I receive her retirement benefits as a beneficiary. Will I be able to receive my own social security benefits at age 62 or 66 in addition to my deceased wife’s retirement?
A. Yes. Receipt of a survivor annuity based on your wife’s work record has absolutely no effect on your Social Security benefit. When you choose to apply for Social Security to begin, your monthly benefit will be determined solely on your earnings record, adjusted as appropriate by the age at which you retire. If you had personally earned a pension from non-Social Security employment, your Social Security might have been affected.