Author Topic: Social Security Survivor benefit  (Read 831 times)


  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 401
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Social Security Survivor benefit
« on: October 21, 2022, 10:45:22 AM »
I wanted to make sure that I am thinking about social security survivor benefit correctly. On my SSA account it says that my child will receive $2,200 a month and my spouse taking care of my child will receive $3,000 if I were to pass away (until he is 18). I have two kids.

I am about $6,000 a year short from being FI. ($150,000 short from FIRE number). I am thinking that this social security benefit would be more than enough to bridge the gab, if something were to happen to me today. I have had a $500k life insurance policy for several years but I am thinking now that I understand the survivor benefit , that is no longer needed. Am I thinking of this social security survivor benefit correctly?


  • Magnum Stache
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  • Posts: 3324
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Social Security Survivor benefit
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2022, 11:56:29 AM »
Two things to double check and one to think about.

I believe the spouse taking care of a child $$ ends when the child is 16, not 18.  If she's also working there is a limit on how much she can make before the benefit starts being offset ($19,560 currently).

There's a family maximum but I think that applies more when you have numerous children rather then *just* two.

Also consider what you want to provide your children when they turn 18.  Paid for college education?  Live at home free for a couple of years?  Or 18 and on their own?


  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Posts: 1156
Re: Social Security Survivor benefit
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2022, 03:51:18 PM »
It's awesome isn't it?  I sat down somewhere in 2015, a year or so into a new job and to figure out how much I needed in life insurance for provide for my family.  My idea was I'd look at the fire budget, subtract social security survivor benefits, subtract what my stache would cover, and get insurance for the rest.  It turns out there was no remaining need.  Sure I'd get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about a big payout that covers the mortgage balance, but what about mortgage taxes?  Plus the mortgage payment is already included in the fire budget.  I decided for forgo extra insurance and add any savings to investment accounts instead.  I'm glad I did!


  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 493
Re: Social Security Survivor benefit
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2022, 08:31:36 PM »
I wasnít going to comment because I donít have kids, butÖ. I think my qualm is that FIRE with two living parents is unlikely to be FIRE with only one. Not making assumptions about gender roles or who passes, but if the person who cooks passes, the food budget will go up. That is, you may not need the working income of the deceased spouse, but you need the life skills. If your kids are older you may not need babysitting per se, but again may be more likely to order pizza because you need downtime from single parenting. What about homework, the deceased parent was the math whiz you might be paying for tutoring.  Just my two pennies.