While marriage is entered into foremost with the heart, practical financial considerations can become critical, especially in a second marriage. For example, it is not uncommon for widows or widowers to wonder what restrictions a second marriage will place on their social security benefits, or, if indeed, it will affect them at all.
When a widower draws benefits based solely on his own work history a second marriage bears no impact on those benefits. Those benefits are his own. Therefore, his status as a widower, or a remarried widower, is immaterial.
Although such is not always the case, a second marriage can mean a loss of benefits for such a social security recipient.
If a social security recipient is drawing benefits based on their deceased spouse’s work history and the recipient is still under legal retirement age, that is under sixty, and without dependent, underage or disabled children from the previous marriage, the likelihood is that a second marriage will mean a loss of benefits. When a social security recipient reaches legal retirement age, however, such a beneficiary is entitled to choose whether to draw from either his current or prior spouse benefits.
A second marriage does not affect benefits for those beneficiaries over sixty. Nor will there be benefit losses for a living spouse caring for those dependent children left from the previous marriage.