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If you are a widow or widower drawing Social Security benefits on your dead spouse’s record, be careful: you could lose them if you remarry!

One of the most popular questions for retirees who are drawing Social Security benefits is, “If I am a widower and get married, will it affect my Social Security?” The answer is that it could, depending on several things, so you must be carefully consider your options before deciding to re-marry.

How Do I Know If Re-Marrying Will Affect My Social Security?

The first thing is to figure out whether or not you are drawing your Social Security benefits on your own record, or on your deceased spouse’s record. If you are drawing them on your own record, there is no need to worry because your benefits will not be affected by remarrying. If you are drawing benefits on your spouse’s record, you must be particularly careful because re-marrying may cause you to become ineligible to continue receiving these benefits. This will depend largely on your age and whether or not you are caring for a disabled or underage child from your previous marriage. If you are over the age of 60, remarriage will not affect your benefits. If you are under the age of 60, however, read on:

How Could My Benefits Be Affected?

Regardless of your age, remarriage will not affect the portion of the benefits you are currently receiving for caring for an underage or disabled child from your previous marriage. You own age is important, however. If you are under the age of 60 and you remarry, you typically will not be able to continue receiving benefits from your former’s spouse’s record. You would have to switch to using your own record to receive benefits, but only if you have the necessary credits. Otherwise, you will have to rely on your new spouse’s record. Once you have reached 62 years old, you can choose whether to draw from your ex-spouse’s record or from your current spouse’s record, whichever offers more.