My husband passed away and I’m nearing age 60. Can I draw from both my own and his survivor benefits? What’s the best option for me? So if your spouse has passed away, and you're approaching 60, you have a pretty important decision you need to make: You need to decide, are you going to take that survivor benefit – which you can take at 60 –or are you going to wait until 62 to claim your own benefit? Now, the thought process really should revolve around how large each of these benefits are, relative to one another. So if both of them are similar, I might suggest that you would take the survivor benefit at age 60 – now, again, it's going to be reduced, because you're taking it early -- but the reduction factor applied to survivor benefits is the smallest of all the reduction factors. So you could collect that benefit from 60 all the way up to age 70, while your own benefit continued to grow; and then you can collect that much larger benefit starting at 70.  Conversely, if your own benefit is rather small relative to the survivor benefit, I might wait until 62, you take your own benefit from 62 to 66, and then switch over to that survivor benefit at 66; because it's not getting any bigger at that point, and because that is going to be your largest benefit, you should take it at that point. For more on survivor benefits, you can read Rob’s earlier blog post and visit our Retirement Center for Social Security spousal strategies.   Rob Kron, Managing Director, is the head of Investment and Retirement Education for BlackRock’s U.S. Wealth Advisory group. He provides practical information on topics that are important to every saver and investor of every age. You can find more from Rob here. The above commentary is based on Social Security laws in effect as of July 2014. Congress has made changes to the laws in the past, and can do so at any time in the future. This material is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. The information contained herein is based on current tax laws, which may change in the future. BlackRock cannot be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss resulting from applying any of the information provided in this publication or from any other source mentioned. The information provided in these materials does not constitute any legal, tax or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice. For more information visit BLACKROCK is a registered trademark of BlackRock, Inc. in the United States and elsewhere. ©2014 BlackRock, Inc.  All rights reserved.   USR-4428