Divorced? Get The Social Security Benefits You Deserve

woman sixties 2

Divorced? Understanding Social Security can mean thousands of dollars extra income for you in retirement.

Could you use an extra $1,250 every month?

We just helped one of our retired clients, who’s divorced, land that extra income – for free.

Did we forget to mention that this monthly check is backed by a government guarantee? Or that it comes with an annual inflation increase?

It’s Social Security, of course.

Social Security rules are surprisingly complex, and what you don’t know can definitely cost you.

It almost cost our client $15,000 per year in lost income.

An extra benefit for divorced retirees

Here’s how we helped our client, who divorced several years ago, land that extra windfall.

 (Hint: This technique works equally well for divorced men and women).

She wanted to wait and postpone her own Social Security benefit until age 70. She wisely understood that delaying benefits until the maximum age of 70 would mean benefit increases of 8% per year, so at age 70 she would receive 132% of the full retirement benefit due at age 66.

(Hint: One of the best ways women can plan financially for a longer lifespan is to maximize their Social Security benefits, which they cannot outlive).

By running our special Special Security optimizer software, we discovered a way to let our client have her cake … and eat it too.

We found an optimal strategy that would give her $60,000 more in Social Security income, all while letting her postpone her own benefits until they reached their maximum. While waiting, we recommended that she file a “restricted application” to claim 1/2 of her ex-husband’s benefit (that’s the typical payment due current or divorced spouses).

That would give her an extra $15,000 of income per year, each and every year, until switching to her own maximum benefit  at age 70, for a total of $60,000 in extra income.

(Hint: This technique doesn’t affect the ex-spouse’s benefit in any way, and he or she need not be informed or consent to the strategy. In fact, your former spouse will have no way of knowing whether you’ve claimed benefits or not).

The Takeaway

This is a fairly simple case where knowing the rules got our client an extra $60,000 that was there for the asking. But that’s just the point. She had to ask. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. No one at Social Security brought this strategy to her attention, and if we had not discussed it with her, she would have lost $60,000 in retirement income.

Want more info on Social Security benefits or need to brush up on the rules? Visit their website.

About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!


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