No one likes to talk openly about divorce. People get divorced, and it is nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. People live long lives and can become more financially independent than in decades past. So, if you’re unhappy or feel unfulfilled with your relationship talk it out, put in the effort with your partner, and don’t be afraid of divorce no matter your age. Just know, that if divorce is the path forward, it could affect your Social Security benefits in different ways.
Financial writer Mark Cussen outlined the new divorce rules pertaining to Social Security on Investopedia.com. One of the major rule changes is that ex-spouses can claim benefits, based off their ex’s earnings, if they were married for 10 years, are over 62 years old and single. They can do this even if the other person has remarried.
There is a difference in the rule if you were born before 1954.
Those born after 1954 must file for all benefits available to them, rather than those born before 1954 who can switch between benefits depending on which is higher at the time. Divorced spouses can apply for survivor benefits if their ex is deceased, switching between the survivor benefit and their own depending on the higher rate.
Divorce can be unexpected sometimes too. The Council for Retirement Security works to help pass legislation that safeguards your Social Security, so that if divorce happens your benefits can create a financial safety net. If this is something you’re going through, the last thing you need is the government spending your benefits.
The Social Security Safeguard Petition will share your voice with Congress, demanding that they leave your benefits alone. That way, you can focus on important things like relationships and finding happiness in this second act.