Ask Bob: How Do Divorced Social Security Benefits Work?

Robert Powell, CFP®

Question

My sister is 60 and her ex-husband is 57. Is she able to get Social Security? They were married for 10 years. Does she have to wait until he gets Social Security?

Answer

Individuals may be able to receive Social Security benefits based on their ex-spouses work record, says Joe Stenken, co-author of The Tools & Techniques of Employee Benefit and Retirement Planning.

According to Stenken, the requirements include (a) the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years, (b) the person collecting the benefits is not married, (c) the person collecting the benefits is at least 62 years old, (d) the recipient's benefit would be less than the divorced spouse benefit, and (e) the worker is also eligible to receive benefits.

“In your sister's case while she will be 62 in two years, her ex-husband will not be 62 for another five years,” says Stenken. “So she will not be eligible for a divorced spouse benefit until he turns 62. And since they will have been divorced for at least two years by then he does not need to be taking benefits for your sister to receive benefits.”

Got Questions? 

Email Robert.Powell@Maven.io

Also on Retirement Daily

Retirement Research

Retirement Research: Are Older People Aware of Their Cognitive Decline?

Articles

It's Not What You Make, It's What You Keep – The Strategic Importance of Tax Planning for Retirement

There's No Mystery to Building a Growth Portfolio

Everything You Need to Know About Social Security and Divorced Spousal Benefits

Turn Term Policies into Cash with a Life Settlement

Five Tips for Surviving Grey Divorce in Retirement

Ask Bob

Ask Bob: Can I Collect Divorced Spouse Benefits?

Ask Bob: Can I Switch from My Social Security Benefit to a Survivors Benefit?

Ask the Hammer

Ask the Hammer: Where is My Economic Impact Payment?

Ask the Hammer: Can I Convert an Inherited IRA into an Inherited Roth IRA?

Ask the Hammer: Should I Use a 30-year Mortgage with Interest Rates So Low?

Comments

Ask Bob

FEATURED
COMMUNITY