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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    19

    Default Who Can Receive Social Security Benefits Through You if You're Single, No Children

    I live in Maryland. I have been paying into social security ever since I was 17 years old. I am now over 60 years old and still working full time. I am single (divorced) with no children of my own. My closest relatives are my brother and sister.

    Under this scenario I would like to know what happens to my social security benefits if I die before retirement, or even shortly after retirement? I have tried calling the S.S. office but simply cannot hold on the phone for an hour ... so thank you for this forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    412

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits

    If you are asking if your sibling could collect after your death, the answer is no.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,343

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits

    Quote Quoting TLark
    View Post
    I live in Maryland. I have been paying into social security ever since I was 17 years old. I am now over 60 years old and still working full time. I am single (divorced) with no children of my own. My closest relatives are my brother and sister.

    Under this scenario I would like to know what happens to my social security benefits if I die before retirement, or even shortly after retirement? I have tried calling the S.S. office but simply cannot hold on the phone for an hour ... so thank you for this forum.
    No matter what YOUR benefits end when you die. It is not possible for anyone to inherit your benefits. The issue is whether anyone else may apply for survivors benefits based on your account after your death. In the situation you describe your ex-spouse may be entitled to survivor's benefits if you had been married to your ex at least 10 years. Your ex would have to apply to Social Security to get those benefits; it is not automatic.

    It is certainly possible that you could die before collecting a dime of Social Security and there might be no one eligible for survivor's benefits on your account, either. That means you could end up having paid all those Social Security taxes and not receive any benefit as a result. That's just the way the system is set up: some people get a lot more benefits than they ever paid into the system and some end up never getting anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,326

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
    View Post
    In the situation you describe your ex-spouse may be entitled to survivor's benefits if you had been married to your ex at least 10 years. Your ex would have to apply to Social Security to get those benefits; it is not automatic.
    And the ex-spouse doesn't have to wait for survivor benefits to collect SS on OP's work record.

    If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if they have remarried) if:
    •You are unmarried;
    •You are age 62 or older;
    •Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits; and
    •The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,036

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits

    Nothing happens to your Social Security benefits. There are no benefits. The taxes you paid are not sitting in a bank account with your name on them.

    If you think of Social Security as a retirement savings account, then this seems unfair. However, Social Security is not a savings or investment account. It is more like retirement insurance. You pay car insurance, homeowner's insurance, etc. If you don't have a car accident or damage to your house, then the insurance never pays. Not really unfair when you consider that if you do have a total loss, the insurance is paying out a heck of alot more than you paid in. Similar to Social Security.

    Arguments for privatization of Social Security don't always take this into consideration. With privatization, you have a finite amount of money and if it runs out, so do your benefits. Not so with insurance or with Social Security.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,141

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits

    In fact, the government terms the retirement (and many of the other plans) INSURANCE (albeit a federally operated one).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits

    I have seen a lot of people working, legally or illegally, and paying a lot of benefits in there into the system which they never have any intention of drawing out, or will go somewhere else without drawing out or will not live to draw out. Privatization of the system is a dreadful idea of a way to bring about the destruction of a very
    popular and successful system.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,343

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits

    Quote Quoting comment/ator
    View Post
    I have seen a lot of people working, legally or illegally, and paying a lot of benefits in there into the system which they never have any intention of drawing out, or will go somewhere else without drawing out or will not live to draw out. Privatization of the system is a dreadful idea of a way to bring about the destruction of a very popular and successful system.
    It is not universally popular. It has been successful so far because the assumption on which it was originally built — that there would be an ever increasing worker population to support all the folks on the old age benefits — did work for the beginning decades of the program. But the birth rate has fallen significantly since Social Security started. The result is that the baby boomer generation, which is about to start retiring drawing benefits, is actually larger than the succeeding generations. Because of this problem without at least some changes in either boosting the tax Social Security tax revenue, cutting benefits, or both, the program could face solvency issues in the not too distant future. The best estimate by Social Security is that this will occur by 2037. Social Security itself said the following in a report published in 2010:

    Thus, in order to meet increased Social Security costs, substantial change will be needed. The intermediate projections of the 2009 Trustees Report indicate that if we wait to take action until the combined OASDI trust fund becomes exhausted in 2037, benefit reductions of around 25 percent or payroll tax increases of around one-third (a 4 percent increase in addition to the current 12.4 percent rate) will be required. Past legislative changes for Social Security suggest that the next reform is likely to include a combination of benefit reductions and payroll tax increases.

    The longer Congress waits to act, the the more dramatic the changes will need to be to address this problem. And yet Congress is not even seriously debating this problem, let alone have any bill ready for passage to fix it. I believe that privatization done correctly could work well. But in any event, something needs to be done if we want to save some kind old age benefit program. I am myself skeptical that I will benefit much from the present system when I retire. (If I collect anything from it at all.) Certainly I won't benefit as much from it as my parents and grandparents did relative to the taxes they paid (which were considerably lower than I have paid).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,043

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
    View Post
    It is not universally popular. It has been successful so far because the assumption on which it was originally built — that there would be an ever increasing worker population to support all the folks on the old age benefits — did work for the beginning decades of the program. But the birth rate has fallen significantly since Social Security started. The result is that the baby boomer generation, which is about to start retiring drawing benefits, is actually larger than the succeeding generations. Because of this problem without at least some changes in either boosting the tax Social Security tax revenue, cutting benefits, or both, the program could face solvency issues in the not too distant future. The best estimate by Social Security is that this will occur by 2037. Social Security itself said the following in a report published in 2010:

    Thus, in order to meet increased Social Security costs, substantial change will be needed. The intermediate projections of the 2009 Trustees Report indicate that if we wait to take action until the combined OASDI trust fund becomes exhausted in 2037, benefit reductions of around 25 percent or payroll tax increases of around one-third (a 4 percent increase in addition to the current 12.4 percent rate) will be required. Past legislative changes for Social Security suggest that the next reform is likely to include a combination of benefit reductions and payroll tax increases.

    The longer Congress waits to act, the the more dramatic the changes will need to be to address this problem. And yet Congress is not even seriously debating this problem, let alone have any bill ready for passage to fix it. I believe that privatization done correctly could work well. But in any event, something needs to be done if we want to save some kind old age benefit program. I am myself skeptical that I will benefit much from the present system when I retire. (If I collect anything from it at all.) Certainly I won't benefit as much from it as my parents and grandparents did relative to the taxes they paid (which were considerably lower than I have paid).
    Medicare seems to slowly be moving towards privatization. Medicare Advantage Plans are offering more benefits. But, with Medicare Advantage you are restricted in the providers they cover. It is not like Original Medicare where almost all providers accept Medicare. Those receiving Medicare have a choice now. Ten, fifteen years down the road. They probably will not.

    Social security might start giving a choice down the road.. The choice would be with a private company or SSA. Eventually it might not be optional.

    I not think workers know all the facts. They certainly will not get all the facts from politicians. Unfortunately, most will believe what they hear. They will not do their own research and get all the facts.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,132

    Default Re: On the Death of a Single Person with No Kids What Happens to Ss Benefits



    https://www.mercatus.org/publication...curity-retiree

    Since about my Jr. year of college (1982) when I saw these numbers in class I figured Social Security was not going to pay me much when I retired and decided then to never count on it. If I ever get a dime I'll consider it beer money.

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