Great Question! If my memory is correct the surviving spouse must be 62 to claim death benefits. And yes unless the process has changed you may claim first spousal benefits and then later your own benefits upon retirement. If you do not claim your own benefits until age 70 the monthly increase by more than 8% per year.
The agency began mailing annual Social Security statements to 125 million workers age 25 and older in 1999, at an annual cost of about $70 million. Last year, it mailed statements to more than 158 million Americans. Over the past decade, the annual statement has become an essential part of personal financial planning, supplying critical information about future retirement income and serving as a stark reminder of the need for personal savings to supplement those benefits.
Lassiter says the Social Security Administration hopes to resume mailing annual statements next fall, but only to Americans age 60 and older who are not currently receiving benefits. “The long-term plan is to allow the public to access the statement online,” he adds. “We’re working hard, but we don’t have a timetable yet.”
The individual statements contain more information than is currently available from the online Social Security Estimator tool, such as annual earnings history and estimates of disability and survivor benefits.
The agency estimates it will save $30 million by suspending mailings for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends in September, and will save an additional $60 million next year by restricting mailings to workers 60 and older."
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