Whew! We agree that Social Security can be a little confusing! One thing to remember is that if you begin Social Security benefits at 62, you’re starting early and any benefits based on your own earnings record or as a spouse, based on your husband’s, will be permanently reduced. At 62, your spousal benefit would be equivalent to 32.5 percent of his benefit while your own retirement benefit would be reduced by 25 percent. As you note, if you were to begin at 62 you would receive the higher of the two benefits. However, in the event your husband passes away you’d be entitled to the benefit he’s currently receiving … even if you were to begin benefits early on your own or your spouse’s earnings record.