This week I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Estate Planning Council of South Orange County. The keynote speaker, Barry P. Levine, a consultant with Northern Trust, gave an interesting presentation titled, “Understanding Social Security Retirement Benefits–What You Don’t Know May Be Hurting Your Clients.” He posed the following question: “A man with a ‘second family’ begins receiving Social Security retirement benefits in his 60’s. Are his wife (early 40’s) and/or minor age child eligible for any Social Security benefits currently?”
I only bring this question up because the answer is a resounding yes. A person’s spouse may receive benefits if the person is: (1) 62 or older; or (2) any age, if caring for the person’s child who is under age 16 or disabled prior to age 22. Moreover, the person’s unmarried children (under the age of 18 or 19) may also receive benefits if they are still in high school. As Levine explained, this is a “modern” way to fund a college education. Who knew?