Q. My husband recently retired as a civilian working on a military base as a federal employee. Since I will have my own retirement (state of Virginia and Social Security), we opted for only a 20 percent survivor benefit for me should he die. Did we make a mistake? Since I can draw my own state retirement and Social Security, will this render me ineligible to draw his federal retirement should he die, since I will be drawing my own retirement? Are we wasting money by having that spousal benefit deduction taken from his check?
A. I don’t know if 20 percent was the right amount. What I do know is that you’ll be able to receive it, your own annuity and your Social Security benefit.