Social Security Spouse and Survivor Benefits 101: Practical Primer Part II (Or Another Reason to Put a Ring on It)

American Bar Association – Section of Taxation, News Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1, Fall 2010

4 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2010

See all articles by Francine J. Lipman

Francine J. Lipman

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - William S. Boyd School of Law

James E. Williamson

San Diego State University - College of Business Administration

Date Written: November 9, 2010

Abstract

As the country and courts continue to debate the importance of marriage in a variety of contexts, when determining Social Security benefits it is clear that marriage matters. Marriage matters for Social Security benefits planning because of meaningful spouse and survivor benefits. Given the broad and deep devastation of a record recession on retirement and saving accounts, including the continuing demise of defined benefit plans with joint and survivor benefits protection, Social Security benefits, generally, and spouse and survivor benefits, specifically, have become and will continue to be a more significant percentage of retirees’ income. As a result of the interplay between recently phased in changes under 1983 legislation and amendments under the Senior Citizens’ Freedom to Work Act of 2000, it is critical that Social Security benefits timing analysis becomes a more important part of many retirement plans. In this article, we describe how to use these changes to devise strategies to maximize Social Security spouse and survivor benefits.

Keywords: Social Security Benefits, Tax Policy, Elder Law, Spousal Benefits, Survivor Benefits

JEL Classification: D63, E62, H24, J14, J15, J16, J17, J18, I31, I38, K34

Suggested Citation

Lipman, Francine J. and Williamson, James E., Social Security Spouse and Survivor Benefits 101: Practical Primer Part II (Or Another Reason to Put a Ring on It) (November 9, 2010). American Bar Association – Section of Taxation, News Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1, Fall 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1705845

Francine J. Lipman (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

James E. Williamson

San Diego State University - College of Business Administration ( email )

School of Accountancy
San Diego, CA 92182-8230
United States
619-594-6021 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sdsu.edu

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