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Social Security Question for Divorcee
Old 02-21-2019, 06:34 AM   #1
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Social Security Question for Divorcee

This is a question for someone I know.

Lady I know was married. She was a stay-at-home mom. Husband worked.

When kids were late teenagers they got divorced. (Now about 15-20 years ago).

Ten years ago she met a new man. They've been together since.
New man evidently earned less during his career (and is currently still working at retirement age on his own business, but it doesn't yield great income).

Despite their normal desire to marry, lady says she cannot marry the new guy because her cut of social security will decrease, where right now she would get half the total amount of her ex-husband. If she gets married, she will evidently get a smaller share due to the difference in income earned by the two men.

Does this sound right or is there a misunderstanding here?
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:53 AM   #2
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It's worth checking into. In my conversations with SSA they never mentioned anything about cutting my social security should I remarry. It was simply based on the fact I had been married more than 10 years. That said, I was not able to collect on my ex-husbands social security as my own was more than half of his.

I wonder if it has anything to do with her second marriage also lasting 10 years should she marry where she might go against both? In that case, it may be that social security will reduce one when or if the other becomes effective? Logic tells me she doesn't have to claim against the 2nd but what do I know. Social security may have a cap on what she is able to get whether it is from one or two.

Perhaps others can weigh in.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sheehs1 View Post
It's worth checking into. In my conversations with SSA they never mentioned anything about cutting my social security should I remarry. It was simply based on the fact I had been married more than 10 years. That said, I was not able to collect on my ex-husbands social security as my own was more than half of his.

I wonder if it has anything to do with her second marriage also lasting 10 years should she marry where she might go against both? In that case, it may be that social security will reduce one when or if the other becomes effective? Logic tells me she doesn't have to claim against the 2nd but what do I know. Social security may have a cap on what she is able to get whether it is from one or two.

Perhaps others can weigh in.
She said from talking with some, essentially they told her...

If she retires at age X, she will get $700 to her own name. Her ex-husband's will get her to $1500 per month.

If she gets married, she wouldn't get the $800 bridge to the $1500. (Her ex's amount is $3,000 so she gets half that amount).

I'm not sure if she is misunderstanding something or if she really feels she is actually taking "Half" the amount of her ex-husband.

Evidently the thought is her new guy must have a lower SSN $ amount. Say $2,000. Her worry would be that if she re-marries, she would then only get a bridge to half of the $2,000 which would be $300 more to her current $700 base for a total of $1,000.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:58 AM   #4
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Here's the answer straight from the horse's mouth:

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html

Quote:
If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment).
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:08 AM   #5
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Here's the answer straight from the horse's mouth:

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html
So she shouldn't re-marry from a financial perspective.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:15 AM   #6
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I think there is an exception if you remarry after 60. (off to look it up)

"Also, your remarriage after age 60 does not prevent you from becoming entitled to benefits on your prior deceased spouse’s Social Security earnings record"

https://blog.ssa.gov/will-remarriage...rity-benefits/
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:15 AM   #7
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I think there is an exception if you remarry after 60. (off to look it up)
True- https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook...book-0406.html
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:32 AM   #8
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My reading seems to say that the Ex needs to have passed. I don’t think that’s the case here. Do think she can re-marry and retain Exe’s benefit until Ex passes.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lemming View Post
I think there is an exception if you remarry after 60. (off to look it up)

"Also, your remarriage after age 60 does not prevent you from becoming entitled to benefits on your prior deceased spouse’s Social Security earnings record"

https://blog.ssa.gov/will-remarriage...rity-benefits/
This is for survivor's benefit. Notice the word "deceased".

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bizlady View Post
This is only talking about when a widow can remarry without jeopardizing prior spouse's benefits. That doesn't sound like the case here.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:50 AM   #11
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"Divorced spouse" and "surviving divorced spouse" are two different categories of beneficiaries.

I was assuming that the lady in question is a "divorced spouse" when I posted the link above, but it's true that we don't really have enough information to know whether that's the case.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dd564 View Post
She said from talking with some, essentially they told her...

If she retires at age X, she will get $700 to her own name. Her ex-husband's will get her to $1500 per month.

If she gets married, she wouldn't get the $800 bridge to the $1500. (Her ex's amount is $3,000 so she gets half that amount).

I'm not sure if she is misunderstanding something or if she really feels she is actually taking "Half" the amount of her ex-husband.

Evidently the thought is her new guy must have a lower SSN $ amount. Say $2,000. Her worry would be that if she re-marries, she would then only get a bridge to half of the $2,000 which would be $300 more to her current $700 base for a total of $1,000.
The principle is true but lots of moving parts, for example she would get half of the ex's benefit at FRA..the payout does not rise for age deferred credit. To get the entire amount she needs to wait until she is FRA. Taking it early would lower the number. It's a factor but maybe not the only factor as to why she doesn't choose to marry...

The survivor benefit could a bigger issue and yet it could give her a thousand extra dollars a month, depending on when the ex claims his benefit.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:27 AM   #13
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So she shouldn't re-marry from a financial perspective.
If she wants to base her marriage plans solely on the potential social security benefits, then that is correct.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:03 AM   #14
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If she wants to base her marriage plans solely on the potential social security benefits, then that is correct.
This is her current plan.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:16 AM   #15
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I know a lady in just that circumstance. Her first husband was a big earner - always well into six figures, paid the maximum SS tax each year. She was a stay at home mom most of her life, but did work about 10 years after the divorce.

Even if she delays SS to 70, her SS account payment will not exceed 1/2 of her ex-hubby's. If she remarries and the ex is not deceased, she loses the right to collect on her ex's account. So she stays single. That is not a problem as most women I know over a 'certain age' don't want to get married again anyway. SS is just one of many factors that makes getting married late in life problematic.
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:38 PM   #16
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So she shouldn't re-marry from a financial perspective.
Precisely. I know a women whos ex-husband is in nursing care, and she just keeps 'Joe' as her boyfriend for exactly this reason. Her ex-husband, elbeit incapacitated, yields more SS money than if she remarried the new guy.


Doesn't change the fact they love eachother though.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dd564 View Post
This is a question for someone I know.

Lady I know was married. She was a stay-at-home mom. Husband worked.

When kids were late teenagers they got divorced. (Now about 15-20 years ago).

Ten years ago she met a new man. They've been together since.
New man evidently earned less during his career (and is currently still working at retirement age on his own business, but it doesn't yield great income).

Despite their normal desire to marry, lady says she cannot marry the new guy because her cut of social security will decrease, where right now she would get half the total amount of her ex-husband. If she gets married, she will evidently get a smaller share due to the difference in income earned by the two men.

Does this sound right or is there a misunderstanding here?
That sounds right.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:59 PM   #18
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This is her current plan.
Sounds like a plan then. At least until 60. Hopefully he'll be willing to go along with the plan.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:16 PM   #19
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It doesn't make any difference if she's 60 or 90. If she remarries (no matter what age) before her ex-spouse is deceased, she cannot claim spousal SS. And then, she will have to wait until BOTH spouses are deceased, or she divorces the new spouse before she would have the opportunity to claim the higher benefit.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:31 PM   #20
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It doesn't make any difference if she's 60 or 90. If she remarries (no matter what age) before her ex-spouse is deceased, she cannot claim spousal SS. And then, she will have to wait until BOTH spouses are deceased, or she divorces the new spouse before she would have the opportunity to claim the higher benefit.
Well, I definitely hope that this charming lady will keep her eye on the bouncing ball and manage to get the max money from her period of providing joy to her husbands or whatever they were.

I am coming to think that any woman who boinks a man should thereafter get 2/3 of his SS, paid by the SSA. Hey, it's only fair. And it should help us old guys get more sex once the word gets out.

Ha
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