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• Hello Carol,
Was married to ex spouse for 16 years and that was 23 years ago. I am now almost 66 years old and have applied for ex spouse half payment for social security

Q: Hello Carol, Was married to ex spouse for 16 years and that was 23 years ago. I am now almost 6...
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• I was married to my ex for 27 years. If he got remarried and then passed away, would I be entitled to his entire benefit if
Q: I was married to my ex for 27 years. If he got remarried and then passed away, would I be entitled ...
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• I was married to my ex husband from 1986 to 2003 that is 17 years he is 59 and I am 48 and he is on social security and I am
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Date Add : 09-12-2011 

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Social Security Question:

ex spouse social security benefits

Social Security Answer:

I will be 62 this month and wish to start my retirement benefits from my ex spouse. We were married for 17 years and have been divorced for 23. He will be 65 in November and will begin collecting his SS then. Do I have to wait until he collects his benefits to apply for mine?
Also, when he dies, would I be eligible for survivor benefits? - Thank You


Support Replied ~ 03-21-2011 16:21:31

Dear Lucy:
You do not have to wait for him to retire in order to receive ex-spouses benefits....However, since you are filing at age 62, you will have to take your own benefit first and add spouses benefits to that......SO, If your full retirement amount is less than 1/2 his full retirement amount, you will be getting your own and ex-wifes benefits...NOW an option that some people don't know about is that if you wait until age 66, you can take a full 1/2 of his benefit and leave your benefit alone to let it grow to age 70 if you would like.....Find out if your age 70 amount is more than your wifes benefits and maybe you would like that option. The only problem is that you have to wait until age 66 to file....Just an idea to throw at you......Carol
Your Comment ~ 03-21-2011 23:24:48

Thank You for your response.
Does this mean I would be getting a higher total amount than what the ex wife benefit alone would be? Or is only part of the ex wife benefit added to mine to make up what the ex wife benefit alone would be?
Also, how does a benefit "grow"?


Support Replied ~ 03-24-2011 00:07:42

Dear Lucy:
Your own benefit continues to increase every month you do not take it up until age 70....Spouses stop increasing at age 66. Therefore, if you wait to take your wifes benefits at age 66, you will get a full one half of your exes full retirement amount. If you take benefits before age 66, you must take your own first and then add his amount up to 1/2 of his full amount reduced for your age. If your amount was $700 and his full amount was $1800, then you would get $200 reduced for your age added to your amount. I could tell you the exact amount but don't have the figures....You seem to know what I was saying.....Carol

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DISCLAIMER - You should consult with your local Social Security Office before acting upon any information received as a response to your question on "Social Security Advisor".

"Social Security Advisor" is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment or other professional advice or services.

Information obtained from RetirementCommunity.com, including e-mail responses from "Social Security Advisor" should be considered as general educational information. You must never rely upon the advice given here. Your individual situation may not fit the generalizations discussed. Only your local Social Security office can evaluate your individual situation and give you advice.


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