Divorce can be hard financially, but you could get help from Social Security in your retirement years.
Are you divorced?
Are you afraid of your financial future because your Social Security payments are less than those of your ex-husband?
According to a recent article in the Aitken (SC) Standard titled “What can you expect from your ex's Social Security?,” you could tap into the benefits of your ex-husband without reducing his benefits.
First, you must qualify for Social Security benefits.
There are a few extra requirements for those seeking the benefits of their ex-spouse.
What are they?
You need to have been marriage at least a decade.
You should be at least 62 years old.
You cannot be remarried—if your second marriage ends, you may be able to collect.
Your Social Security benefits are less than those of your ex.
How much of the benefit could you receive?
You could get up to half the amount your spouse would receive at full retirement age.
Up to half?
Yes. Up to half.
There are ways you might decrease your payout.
Collecting before full retirement age.
Full retirement age for most retirees is 66.
If you have been divorced for at least two years, you can apply for benefits even if your ex has not yet applied.
Although you can start collecting at age 62, you may want to wait to maximize your benefits.
By collecting at 62, your benefit will be 70 percent of the amount you could have received at full retirement age.
Were you born before January 2, 1954?
Have you reached full retirement age?
If yes, you can receive only the benefits of your ex-spouse until you turn 70 and then receive yours at age 70.
Were you born after January 2, 1954?
When you file for Social Security, you will be filing for the greater of the two benefits.
If you are still working before full retirement age and want to receive benefits, think again.
The benefits you could receive from your ex-spouse will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you make over the annual limit.
What is the annual limit this year?
Are you eligible for a pension?
If so, your benefit from your spouse may also be reduced.
When planning for retirement, knowing your eligibility and how to maximize benefits is important.
Click here for more on this subject at the Social Security website.
Work with an experienced financial planner and start preparing today.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Aitken (SC) Standard (May 20, 2017) “What can you expect from your ex's Social Security?”