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Old 10-24-2020, 02:28 PM   #41
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One of the reasons I planned on waiting until age 70, was so that my EX could not file for 50% of mine until I filed. It was not an amicable divorce. She was older and very overweight so there was a chance she would never collect. Turns out she filed for her own at 62, and passed away from C at 63. I felt a little bad because she was entitled to a percentage of my pension (about $300/mo) when I turned 58, and turns out she did me a solid and never filed for it so the entire amount reverted back to me, which I wasn’t expecting. Now the plan is wait 5 more years, until 68, once SS is $40k, unless there Is some reason not to. DW is 68 & was collecting on her own since 62, higher than any spousal could be.
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:07 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
One of the reasons I planned on waiting until age 70, was so that my EX could not file for 50% of mine until I filed. It was not an amicable divorce. She was older and very overweight so there was a chance she would never collect. Turns out she filed for her own at 62, and passed away from C at 63. I felt a little bad because she was entitled to a percentage of my pension (about $300/mo) when I turned 58, and turns out she dis me a solid and never filed for it so the entire amount reverted back to me, which I wasnít expecting. Now the plan is wait 5 more years, until 68, once SS is $40k, unless there Is some reason not to. DW is 68 & was collecting on her own since 62, higher than any spousal could be.
I've been known to be wrong on social security spouse/ex-spouse issues, but I'm pretty certain she would have gotten half the value of your benefit, not half of your actual benefit. Your benefit is not affected.
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:54 PM   #43
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Yes, that is entirely correct. But for reasons not relevant here, I strongly felt that she did nothing to deserve getting that freebie. In fact, her lawyer kept using delay tactics for almost 2 years, which cost me quite a bit, to stretch the actual divorce date to legally make the marriage 10 years and one month, so she would get the spousal when the time came. Karma’s a beeyatch. DW, who worked her whole life, often struggling as a single mom, barely exceeded 1/2 of my max. Yet the EX, for doing less than nothing would have been able to waltz right in to that income. And that doesn’t even account for the fact had I died first & she lived, she was entitled to the same 100% of my SS as DW., the vast majority of which was earned after the divorce.

I don’t see how it is fair (on a cosmic level, not legally) that being young & stupid and married for barely ten years at age 30, then divorcing, entitled her to collect mostly on my hard work over the next 32 years!? She was long gone, and only provided headaches and financial hardship before, during and for a while after the divorce , yet she was entitled to the same as the current spouse of 25 years? Nuh-uh.
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Old 10-24-2020, 04:26 PM   #44
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OK. Also, as discussed earlier, she did not need for you to start collecting before she could collect based on the value of your SS record.
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:10 PM   #45
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Yes, that is entirely correct. But for reasons not relevant here, I strongly felt that she did nothing to deserve getting that freebie. In fact, her lawyer kept using delay tactics for almost 2 years, which cost me quite a bit, to stretch the actual divorce date to legally make the marriage 10 years and one month, so she would get the spousal when the time came. Karmaís a beeyatch. DW, who worked her whole life, often struggling as a single mom, barely exceeded 1/2 of my max. Yet the EX, for doing less than nothing would have been able to waltz right in to that income. And that doesnít even account for the fact had I died first & she lived, she was entitled to the same 100% of my SS as DW., the vast majority of which was earned after the divorce.

I donít see how it is fair (on a cosmic level, not legally) that being young & stupid and married for barely ten years at age 30, then divorcing, entitled her to collect mostly on my hard work over the next 32 years!? She was long gone, and only provided headaches and financial hardship before, during and for a while after the divorce , yet she was entitled to the same as the current spouse of 25 years? Nuh-uh.
Apparently this all happened a long time ago and the lady has died. Since none of this would have taken one penny from your current wife, maybe you could move on...spousal benefits protect everyone, worthy or not worthy..
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:33 PM   #46
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A quick question/consideration...does the surviving spouse receive the survivor benefit of the other waiting till 70 (assuming they are collecting )or just the spouse's amount they would have received at FRA retirement age. (assuming it is the higher amount) Thanks..
.it seems implied with the discussion that it would be the FRA plus increases of waiting and collecting at 70 for the deceased spouse....which would be more?
Just a clarification.....
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:16 PM   #47
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The surviving spouse receives a survivors benefit which is 100% of what the deceased was getting at the time of death. I think in actuality, the $ first come from the surviving spouse's own account, then enough taken from the deceased's account to make up the total survivor benefit every month. Which is a don't care to the end-user, as $ are $. Of course, there may be limitations on what the surviving spouse gets due to GPO, if the surviving spouse has a governmental pension of their own that they were receiving $ from.
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Old 10-26-2020, 05:05 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
Yes, that is entirely correct. But for reasons not relevant here, I strongly felt that she did nothing to deserve getting that freebie. In fact, her lawyer kept using delay tactics for almost 2 years, which cost me quite a bit, to stretch the actual divorce date to legally make the marriage 10 years and one month, so she would get the spousal when the time came. Karmaís a beeyatch. DW, who worked her whole life, often struggling as a single mom, barely exceeded 1/2 of my max. Yet the EX, for doing less than nothing would have been able to waltz right in to that income. And that doesnít even account for the fact had I died first & she lived, she was entitled to the same 100% of my SS as DW., the vast majority of which was earned after the divorce.

I donít see how it is fair (on a cosmic level, not legally) that being young & stupid and married for barely ten years at age 30, then divorcing, entitled her to collect mostly on my hard work over the next 32 years!? She was long gone, and only provided headaches and financial hardship before, during and for a while after the divorce , yet she was entitled to the same as the current spouse of 25 years? Nuh-uh.

I must agree with you that there are fairness issues with SS and the 10 year EX rule in the case you describe. Why she should get benefits based on earnings after the divorce is hard to understand. SS has been expanded quite a bit since first put in place and the expansion of benefits has put the original recipients benefits at risk. As the country moved to a point where over 50% of marriages end in divorce there were spouses (mostly women) that went into retirement without any SS support and you could argue deserved some support. However, as is often the case broad rules that attempt to deal with a issue also have unintended impacts elsewhere.

While I agree with your points I also think that 1) Any SS your EX would have been able to draw would not have had any impact on your benefits you worked to earn and 2) Life is too short to carry this with you any longer. Focus on the joys of being with your DW.
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Old 10-26-2020, 05:33 AM   #49
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When you dig down into the details the laws are strange. My father was married five times and three of those wives were entitled to collect on his record.
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Old 10-26-2020, 05:51 AM   #50
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When you dig down into the details the laws are strange. My father was married five times and three of those wives were entitled to collect on his record.
He was married to three wives for more than 10 years and none of them remarried (well)? If so, that’s uncommon.
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Old 10-26-2020, 05:58 AM   #51
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He was married to three wives for more than 10 years and none of them remarried (well)? If so, thatís uncommon.

That is for sure unexpected. Must have been such a great husband they couldn't find anyone to measure up to good ole dad.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:16 AM   #52
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.... So why not use SS now and save your other assets?
Because you may live long.

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... But the whole point of claiming at 70 (i.e., annuitizing) is cheap longevity insurance. That is insuring against the chance that you are the 50% that lives past 82/85, especially if you live long past. Or, even more importantly and likely for marrieds, that one of you does.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:20 AM   #53
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My father died a year ago just short of his 95th birthday and his mother almost made it to 100. I'm planning to wait until 70. My wife, who worked but whose SS benefit is less than her spousal benefit will be, will start collecting at FRA next spring since there is no benefit to waiting longer.
+1 SAHM DW's benefit based on her own work record is less than half of my PIA... she'll start collecting at her FRA based on her own work record and then when I file at 70 her SS will get bumped up to half of my PIA.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:27 AM   #54
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Apparently this all happened a long time ago and the lady has died. Since none of this would have taken one penny from your current wife, maybe you could move on...spousal benefits protect everyone, worthy or not worthy..
+1 For God's sake, he needs to get over it... the way Perry framed it it sounds like he's think that it was money coming out of his pocket.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:38 AM   #55
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The surviving spouse receives a survivors benefit which is 100% of what the deceased was getting at the time of death. I think in actuality, the $ first come from the surviving spouse's own account, then enough taken from the deceased's account to make up the total survivor benefit every month. Which is a don't care to the end-user, as $ are $. Of course, there may be limitations on what the surviving spouse gets due to GPO, if the surviving spouse has a governmental pension of their own that they were receiving $ from.
Correct, except there are no "accounts" to be taken from... it is just the way that benefits are calculated based on contribution history. Technically, he surviving spouse gets a base benefit based on their own work record and when they filed... plus a surviving spouse supplement for the difference between what the deceased spouse was receiving and what the surviving spouse was receiving... so in total they get what the deceased spouse was receiving (or would have received at their date of death if they were delaying their benefit).
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:34 AM   #56
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One of the reasons I planned on waiting until age 70, was so that my EX could not file for 50% of mine until I filed...
A divorced spouse does not have to wait until you file in order to make her own claim on your record, so even if she had lived, that strategy would have had no effect on her.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:36 AM   #57
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Apparently this all happened a long time ago and the lady has died. Since none of this would have taken one penny from your current wife, maybe you could move on...spousal benefits protect everyone, worthy or not worthy..
FWIW, I have been collecting on my ex-wife's SS account for the past few years as I let my own SS benefit increase until I am 70. I never bothered to tell her since it has no effect on her SS payments. She remarried long ago, so she could not collect on mine even if she had considered it (which I doubt she has).

From time to time when she does something I don't like (usually involving letting down our children or grandchildren ) I get upset and think I should 'rub it in'. But, instead, I realize it is a petty feeling, it won't make 2Ę worth of difference, and it certainly won't change her future decisions. Then I go outside and play with my grandchild and realize how good my life is. In fact, thanks to her reneging on a babysitting commitment she made, I will be playing silly games with a grandchild all of Thanksgiving week. Bring on the fun!!!
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:54 AM   #58
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FWIW, I have been collecting on my ex-wife's SS account for the past few years as I let my own SS benefit increase until I am 70. I never bothered to tell her since it has no effect on her SS payments. She remarried long ago, so she could not collect on mine even if she had considered it (which I doubt she has).

From time to time when she does something I don't like (usually involving letting down our children or grandchildren ) I get upset and think I should 'rub it in'. But, instead, I realize it is a petty feeling, it won't make 2Ę worth of difference, and it certainly won't change her future decisions. Then I go outside and play with my grandchild and realize how good my life is. In fact, thanks to her reneging on a babysitting commitment she made, I will be playing silly games with a grandchild all of Thanksgiving week. Bring on the fun!!!
Good for you, can you answer the question about collecting as a divorced spouse. Was your ex drawing SS when you claimed a spousal or were you able to file without her claiming her SS?

Enjoy those grandkids!!
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:56 AM   #59
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Maybe the OP can realize that from a government program standpoint, the government can't be in the middle of determining the cause of a divorce. The government does not want, say, a loyal homemaker to end up destitute by being married to a rat that treats them badly and dumps them, so the law is set up as "no-fault".

Here, perhaps the benefits were in some sense undeserved, but it was the American taxpayers as a whole that bore the burden, not the OP. Since she is now gone, maybe time to let the bitterness go and joy life.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:18 AM   #60
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This thread is fascinating, and a bit triggering, lol.

Most of my peak SS-paying years were during my previous marriage so if my ex does better under spousal I can't begrudge her. And as has been pointed out, it's not healthy to focus on the trauma.
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