7 Essential Social Security Rules Every Couple Should Know

 If you stay married for at least ten years, your increased Social Security benefits will continue even if you divorce down the line.

It is true that claiming as an individual would result in the most beneficial outcome for many people, but marriage can have consequences for your Social Security benefits. For example, if you both claim simultaneously and both of your incomes were low, then only one will receive a gift. It is worth looking into this before plunging into wedded bliss.

Numerous married couples make life decisions without understanding the consequences. Indeed, spouses who earn less than half of their partner’s income stand to gain more from taking spousal benefits. Here are six points on what married couples must know before filing for retirement benefits to keep things simple.

 Essential Social Security Rules

You can get up to 50% of your spouse’s full benefits.

You can get the maximum spousal benefit by waiting until your age 67. Unfortunately, this isn’t available for partners who are younger than 60

You’ll receive a reduced amount of benefits if you start before turning 67. For example, if you need to claim early at 62 years old, the government will give you 32.5% of your maximum benefits.

You don’t get to claim both benefits.

That’s unfortunate to hear. You won’t be able to double-dip when it comes to SS.

When collecting Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration will ideally use your own earnings history first and then use spousal benefits as a last resort.

 Essential Social Security Rules for every couple

If you’re not saving for your retirement, you’re depriving yourself of the potential growth that would come with an additional year of work.

If you delay Social Security, you will get an 8% increase on your benefits each year. Every year you wait past the full retirement age, your benefits will be extra by 8%

But your payments will stop if you start collecting spousal benefits. You won’t be able to order any delayed retirement benefits until you reach full retirement age.

 Essential Social Security Rules

It is currently not possible to claim someone else’s Social Security disability benefits.

Eligibility for SSDI is based on Social Security contributions and having a qualifying medical condition. You can’t use a spouse’s benefits to supplement your income, even if they’re willing.

If you’re going through a divorce, don’t just immediately give up on your spousal benefits. There are ways to keep them.

If you are divorced for at least two years and were married for at least ten years, you can claim your ex’s Social Security benefits.

To maximize your benefit, you claim at the same time they do. But the amount you get is proportional to the number of months each of you have been covered–the longer the delay, the lower your payment.

Generally, to be eligible for benefits, your ex-spouse must reach the minimum age of 62. Unfortunately, this won’t affect them in any way, and their decision will not affect you in any way.

If you have remarried, you cannot claim the benefits of your ex-partner.

You will no longer receive your ex’s benefits if you remarry. But once you’ve been married a year, you’ll be able to claim benefits on your current spouse’s record.

If you’ve had more than one marriage that lasted ten years or more, Social Security will compare all of your records and provide the highest benefit for both of you.

The Survivor’s Pension benefit can be up to the full 100% of that which was received from the deceased.

If your spouse passes away before you, you might qualify for up to 100% of their Social Security benefits if you wait until your full retirement age (65-67)

You can start your survivor benefits from age 60 (or 50 if you’re disabled), but the amount you receive will be less than what it would be if you waited until 66. This also applies to ex-spouses, so make sure to marry them for ten years before divorcing them.

As with spousal benefits, you will receive whichever is the larger: your use or that of a spouse. You cannot claim both benefits.

The remarriage rule does not apply to surviving spouses for those who are entitled to survivor benefits. Widowed and ex-spouses can remarry after they reach 50 or 60-years-old, and continue to receive their late spouse’s benefits.

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