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Social Security Answers expertSocial security question 30 day money back Carol Thomas has recently retired from the Social Security Administration after 28 years service and is ready to answer your questions.
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Social Security questions on ex husband and ex wife

FAQ(s) found under  Social Security Spouse Benefits Showing 21 Of 98 Prev  |  Next

Date Add : 05-27-2009 

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Social Security Question:

reduced benefits

Social Security Answer:

I am 63 and was given two different answers when I called social security. I told the the second person I spoke with and she got the "Bible" and said she was positive but I am afraid to act on her word without something in writing or at least the appropriate section of the "Bible" since it will be costly to me if she is wrong. How can I get something in writing and do you think she is right? I am 63 and divorced. I am considering filing early. I was told that they would file on my record first with a 20 per cent reduction and then add the difference between the reduced benefit of half my ex husband's benefit ( he is full retirement age and is drawing social security retirement currently) which is considerably higher than my benefit. Now here is where the question arises, the social security agent told me that at 66 (my full retirement age) if half of my ex husband's full benefit is higher than the reduced benefit I am receiving then I could switch over and take half of his full benefit without keeping the 20 per cent reduction in benefits for taking my retirement benefits early. You can see that if this is wrong but I act on this info because Social Security told me this it would be costly to me. Please advise Thank you in advance Cynthia

Support Replied ~ 03-17-2009 19:07:09

Dear Cynthia:
If you take your own benefits at a reduction, then that reduction to your own benefits still holds when you file on your husbands account. Besides, you cannot
file for your own and not take your ex-husbands now. When you file for your ex-husbands, you do not terminate your own benefits, you add his benefits to yours.
Yours will already be reduced.....If you want, I will fully explain the process of wifes benefits. Give me an approximate amount of your FRA amt and his FRA amt . I will work it out for you......Carol
Your Comment ~ 03-17-2009 21:00:57

His full retirementment amount is about 2700 and mine is only about 900. I am so confused now......

Support Replied ~ 03-21-2009 11:59:49

Dear Cynthia:
If his full benefit rate is 2700, your full wifes benefit would be 1350, as we discussed.
Your full amount is 900 so you would not get more than 450 from his account.
I still think it is more beneficial for you to take it now. Get the exact benefit amount from SS. Take that amount and subtract it from 1350. take your benefit amount and times it by the months you have until age 66. Then divide it by your benefit amount.
It will tell you how many months it will take after agte 66 to break even. If it is more than 8 years, you should do it now. The only issue is your earnings, as we discussed.
Take care, 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, 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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Thank you so much. The amount of infomation you provided on our call went a long way in helping to resolve the issues I had with the social security rep I was working with.
Tom F. 04-27-2020

Thank you so much. You provide a fantastic service and I really appreciate all your help. The next time I have a question regarding Social Security I will go to you first and save myself a lot of time.
Carol J. 04-15-2020

Thanks for the straight forward answers. It would have save a lot of time if I knew about this site months ago.
Emily D. 04-04-2020

Great talking with you and thanks for the help. Things now seem to be going in the right direction.
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Hello, thank you so much for responding to my inquiry, I really did not expect to get an answer from you so quickly. Brought the information you sent to my social security office an the issue, i have been dealing with for months, was resolved in an hour.
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Thank you so much for the reply.
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