Question: I am 53 years old and my ex-husband is 65. Am I entitled to his Social Security if we were married more than 10 years?

Answer: According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), if you're divorced but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if they have remarried) if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits; and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.

Read more on this topic from the Social Security Administration.

Of note, the SSA says your benefit as a divorced spouse is equal to one-half of your ex-spouse's full retirement age (FRA) amount (or disability benefit) if you start receiving benefits at your FRA, which -- in your case -- would be 67.

The SSA further notes on its website that if you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record and divorced spouse's benefits, the SSA will pay the retirement benefit first. If the benefit on your ex-spouse's record is higher, you will get an additional amount on your ex-spouse's record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

According to Jan Valecka, a certified financial planner with Valecka Wealth Management, if you file at age 62, your benefit will be reduced by about 25%.

What to do? Schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office to determine your benefit based on your work record as well as the divorced spouse benefit. Before you visit, check your specific Social Security statement to determine your benefit and how much you would receive by claiming at 62, FRA and age 70.

According to Jim Blankenship, a certified financial planner with Blankenship Financial Planning, a blogger, and author of A Social Security Owner's Manual and Social Security for the Suddenly Single: Social Security Retirement and Survivor Benefits for Divorcees, you will likely need to prove your eligibility by having your marriage license, a divorce decree, and -- preferably -- the Social Security number of your ex-spouse. "Then you need to request benefit estimates for spousal retirement benefits," he says.

If you don't have your ex-spouse's Social Security number, Blankenship says you will need to provide "as much identifying information as possible -- full name, last known address, birth date, parents' names, etc., in order to properly identify the ex-spouse."

Blankenship also notes that if your own benefit, your primary insurance amount or PIA, is more than 50% of the ex-spouse's PIA, the SSA won't likely tell you the amount unless you're eligible for a restricted application -- that is, you were born before 1954.

Valecka also recommends thinking carefully about taking Social Security at age 62 "since you may need the money to last throughout your retirement life span."

Got questions about Social Security, saving and investing for retirement or the new tax law? Email Robert.Powell@TheStreet.com.

Question: I am 53 years old and my ex-husband is 65. Am I entitled to his Social Security if we were married more than 10 years?

Answer: According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), if you're divorced but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if they have remarried) if:

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