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Social Security Benefits for Spouses and Retirement

You should consider doing some research before using Social Security spousal benefits to supplement your retirement income.

As a spouse, widow/widower or a divorcee, you may be eligible to certain benefits.  This benefits might impact you when you try to collect your own benefits. So, be careful and ask a professional help to avoid any hassles. 

Benefits for Widows and Widowers

You can receive a “survivor’s benefits” if your spouse passed away. Survivor benefits can be received once you have reached the age of 60.

These benefits, like most SS benefits, are age-based, meaning if you are between the age of 60 and full retirement age you could begin receiving them. The earlier you receive these benefits, the more they will be reduced. The reduction is based on the number of months you have until you reach full retirement age.

Another interesting fact about survivor’s benefits is if you are able to qualify for your own benefits. In case your benefits are larger than your survivor’s benefits, then you can switch when to receive yours. You can switch it to get them over the age of 62 or wait until you are 70 years old.

Social Security Benefits for Living Spouses

If your spouse is currently receiving disability or retirement benefits or if you are 62 years old, you may be eligible to receive his or her benefits. You may also qualify for Medicare – if you are 65 or over. It’s not a requirement to have worked and paid Social Security in the past.

The catch: if you are full retirement age and can receive your own benefits, you will just receive that amount. If you happen to be eligible for both your benefits and spousal benefits, you can receive both.

As with survivor’s benefits, your benefit will be reduced by a percentage if you take them before full retirement age. This reduction will also be based on the number of months you have until you reach that age. Additionally, these spousal benefits don’t include delayed retirement credits.

If your children qualify, there will be a limit placed on what is paid out to family members, which depends on your spouse’s benefit and the number of qualified family members.

It is important to note that any benefits you receive will not decrease your spouse’s retirement benefit.

If You And Your Spouse Are Full Retirement Age

If your spouse is full retirement age, he or she can apply to have his or her benefits suspended. This will allow you to collect current payments while earning your spouse delayed retirement credits until the age of 70.

You can also choose spousal benefits and to delay your own benefits if you have reached full retirement age.

Social Security Benefits and Divorce

As a divorced spouse, you may still be able to collect benefits; however, your collection will work a bit differently.

If you had a marriage that lasted over 10 years. Then, you might be eligible to receive benefit’s from your ex-spouse’s records. Your ex-spouse must  have been entitled to Social Security or retirement, in order for you to get it. Also, the sum of your benefits must be less than what you would get from your ex-spouse. Additionally, your benefits are equal to roughly half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement benefit – but only if you begin receiving it at full retirement age.

If you remarry and remain remarried, you will not be able to collect your former spouse’s Social Security benefits, and your benefits will not include your ex-spouse’s delayed retirement benefits.

What happen to the  retirement benefits you are entitled to? Your benefits may be paid first, you can choose to delay receiving your own or you can choose between your own at full retirement age or your former spouse’s.

Keep In Mind

You may or may not receive your spouse’s or former spouse benefits. So, under any circumstance be dependent of this benefits and have your own savings.

Social Security is a great way to supplement your retirement, but if you are considering simply using  your spouse’s benefits with no retirement backup, you should think again. A good retirement plan is a key component to financial security, so make sure you have one in place! For more information on how you Social Security benefits may impact your retirement, speak to a trusted financial adviser or visit