What percentage survivor benefit should we choose?
You should consider how much it costs for two people to live together compared to how much it will cost when there is only one of you. Some expenses will remain the same (like your mortgage or rent, your real estate taxes, heating and cooling costs) and other expense will be lower (like food and clothing). It will cost less money for one person to live than it does for two, but it will cost more than half as much for one person to live than it did for two. If your spouse’s sole sources of income are Social Security and your pensions, that fact argues for the 66 2/3% or the 75% Joint and Survivor options. If there are other sources of retirement income, like you spouse’s own pension, that argues toward the 50% Husband and Wife benefit. Remember that so long as your surviving spouse continues to receive a monthly benefit from the NASI Pension Fund, she can keep the medical coverage available from the NASI Welfare Fund.
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