Six Things to Know About Social Security Survivor Benefits

Timing is a key factor to determine when to claim Social Security benefits.

For married couples, there are other considerations that may be equally important. Understanding how Social Security benefits apply to them is key, especially as it relates to advance planning for the spouse who is likely to live longer.

Survivor benefits

Some couples may not want to discuss the possibility of one spouse pre-deceasing the other. In the case of Social Security, understanding the rules around survivor benefits is a critical component of an effective retirement income plan.

Losing a spouse and transitioning to a one-person household is extremely difficult and challenging for a multitude of reasons. And financial considerations are an important part of that process. For many surviving spouses, the question that looms ahead is whether they can maintain the same standard of living.