When to claim survivor benefitsThere are so many rules when it comes to retirement and collecting Social Security benefits that it’s hard to keep them all straight. Collect early and you get 20 percent less than if you collect at 65; collect late and you get 20 percent more. You don’t get taxed right away, but come your 72nd birthday, your benefits are no longer protected.
It’s a lot to keep straight without also throwing into the mix Social Security survivor benefits. But survivor benefits, which have a set of rules all their own, are something you must think about if you have a spouse.
Many people don’t fully understand how survivor benefits work. And that’s okay—there are so many stipulations that it would be quite a feat to make sense of them all! However, we like a good challenge. We make it our job to make sense of all things health care-related, and survivor benefits happen to fall into that category.
We know that the last thing you want to do in your time of loss is figure out how your Social Security benefits will work in the future, so we found this article that clearly and efficiently explains how survivor benefits work, when you should collect, and the consequences of collecting earlier vs. later: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505146_162-57588525.html

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.