Surprisingly, not many people understand the in’s and out’s of Social Security benefits. In a research paper from the Financial Literacy Center, entitled “What Do People Know About Social Security? (Mathew Greenwald, Arie Kapteyn, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Lisa Schneider, October, 2010) the authors found that only 13% of survey participants were very knowledgeable about Social Security Benefits and how they are determined. As we age we tend to become more interested in the subject, but it can be very important to understand some of the ramifications of marital status on Social Security benefits long before we become senior citizens.
If you are considering a divorce, and you have been married just shy of ten years, you may want to rethink filing for divorce until after the ten year mark. Why? Because Social Security enables you to collect benefits on your spouses’ earnings if you were married for ten years or longer. It would benefitial to postpone filing for divorce until after that ten year mark. You can receive benefits based on your ex-spouses’ earnings record if they are more then your own. There are other contingencies that are required and the details matter, so be sure that you carefully check them out at www.ssa.gov/retire2/yourdivsp. which has a pamphlet entitled, Retirement Planner For Your Divorced Spouse. It includes a benefit calculator along with the requirements to collect benefits based on your ex-spouses’ record.
There are certainly a lot of different things that need to be considered before filing for a divorce, but if you are unfamiliar with the rules of Social Security and have worked part-time, stayed home to raise kids, or earned significantly less then your spouse, and you are not knowledgeable about Social Securitys’ rules you can lose out on quite a sum of benefits.
Nothing herein constitutes legal advice
CONTACT DAWN-ATTORNEY’S FOR WOMEN
WOTV 4 women’s legal expert Gail Saukas
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