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Made the switch from Divorced Spousal SS to my own SS!
Old 03-07-2018, 04:14 PM   #1
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Made the switch from Divorced Spousal SS to my own SS!

I think this might be the happiest day since the day I retired!

I have been on divorced spousal SS since age 66 (2014), with the idea that my own SS would continue to grow until age 70 (2018) and then I'd switch over to my own SS which would be larger by now.

So, on February 22nd I applied to switch over to SS based on my own employment record. I searched the internet far and wide, and FINALLY found one post over at Bogleheads that indicated that this actually could be done online, here, applying just as though I never had divorced spousal. Our local SS office is horrible beyond belief, and after hearing stories about it from Frank I did not want to go there in person myself.

My worries were:
1) In 2015 a law was passed saying one's own SS would not grow from age 66-70 if doing this; I hoped I was grandfathered but feared I might fall through the cracks.
2) My ex is really on SS disability although he is SS retirement age and I don't understand if that is the same thing or how that works, basically that is a big bottomless abysmal black hole filled with infinite W2R ignorance.
3) Dealing with huge bureaucracies scares the living daylights out of me.

Today, a very nice, sweet lady from the Chicago SS office called me up on the phone, did not ask me a single question except my birthday to verify that I am me, and then told me it is a "go"!!!! I will start getting SS based on my own employment record in June just as I requested.

Not only that, the exact dollar amount will be just $1 less than what I had calculated. Probably a rounding error. At any rate I'm proud of myself for being that close. After Medicare is deducted, I will be getting $555/month above what I have been getting on divorced spousal SS.

I confirmed with her that I will be getting a new Medicare card too, which is needed since my present one is on my ex-husband's account and SSN.

Considering getting a pint of BlueBell ice cream to celebrate....
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:16 PM   #2
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You can buy a heck of a lot more than a pint of Blue Bell for $555! Congrats.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:19 PM   #3
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Very nice, an extra $6,660 a year! Party at W2R's place!
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:22 PM   #4
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You can buy a heck of a lot more than a pint of Blue Bell for $555! Congrats.
Yeah really. Blow that dough and go for at least a quart!

Congratulations.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:27 PM   #5
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Pint? Quart? Fill the freezer! It's party time at W2R's house!
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:41 PM   #6
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YAY!!!!



Love you all - - you really understand my joy in seeing a long time plan actually work (not to mention the $$$$, the Bluebell, etc). It's not greed, it's just relief, joy, surprise, you name it.

I should thank those here who actually explained to me that I could get divorced spousal for those 4 years without getting any less SS at age 70 than otherwise. I'm pretty fuzzy on who is was that I should be thanking, ingrate that I am my memory is gappy on exactly who helped me so much here, but I'm pretty sure mainly Katsmeow and maybe also REWahoo were responsible plus probably a few others that I don't recall. Well anyway, you all, you were right, IT WORKED!!!

This will be like getting 2 dental implants/year for free.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:51 PM   #7
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Congratulations! Don't get a headache trying to think of ways to spend the extra money
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:53 PM   #8
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3) Dealing with huge bureaucracies scares the living daylights out of me.

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Old 03-07-2018, 04:58 PM   #9
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My worries were:
1) In 2015 a law was passed saying one's own SS would not grow from age 66-70 if doing this; I hoped I was grandfathered but feared I might fall through the cracks.
Congratulations - but what law are you talking about here? I've never heard about this.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #10
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Congratulations - but what law are you talking about here? I've never heard about this.
There was a law passed that closed this and several other loopholes. I think you will find it if you Google something like "2015 law closing Social Security loopholes" or something like that.

EDIT: Here it is:

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/claiming.html
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #11
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I'm very happy for you.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:06 PM   #12
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Me too. Go have a nice expensive plate of crawfish etouffe tomorrow -
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:06 PM   #13
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They are made up of people, and you just have to find the right one to deal with. Far easier said than done, but it is the only way.
Yes, I almost started gushing on the phone about how wonderful it was to deal with a human being and so on, but managed to not do that. She was very sweet and didn't give me any trouble.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:14 PM   #14
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Congratulations
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:15 PM   #15
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Splurge on Ben and Jerry's.
Congrats.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:25 PM   #16
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Congratulations!

I'm glad that "aggressive claiming strategy" loophole was grandfathered in for you. Well played! Hopefully everyone else who was eligible claimed it as well.

Until 2015, that strategy was part of our plan too. Oh well - I probably would have wasted the extra money on craft beers anyway.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:33 PM   #17
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Congratulations!

I'm glad that "aggressive claiming strategy" loophole was grandfathered in for you. Well played! Hopefully everyone else who was eligible claimed it as well.

Until 2015, that strategy was part of our plan too. Oh well - I probably would have wasted the extra money on craft beers anyway.
Thank you! And I'm sorry the loophole closed before you could claim it. I didn't even know it existed, until forum members told me about it a year or so before I reached FRA.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:36 PM   #18
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So nice your plan went according to your plan! Enjoy
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:44 PM   #19
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Congrats. I'm glad it worked. I was dreading helping my MIL with her SS after my FIL died. It turned out very easy. 2 trips though. They were nice. Armed guard at the door though and no drinks inside.

Hey punk. Put down the coffee and slowly back away.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:46 PM   #20
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Nice! Glad it worked out as it was supposed to. And while it was totally the right choice to get the spousal benefit, I'm sure it's extra sweet to be getting a larger check on your own record!
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