#7B Social Security Benefits- 10 Things You Need To Know To Plan Your Retirement Income

 In Financial Planning, Ozarks Live, Productivity, Tips

#7B Social Security Benefits- 10 Things You Need To Know To Plan Your Retirement Income

Last week we went over the first part of #7 in the 10 things you need to know to plan your retirement income series. In this segment we reviewed how being divorced or widowed affects your benefits. The first thing that can be done, is to visit socialsecurity.gov and do some research. Also, stopping in at the local Social Security office with that research and asking questions is a good idea, and doesn’t cost anything. These are some tips on Divorced Spouse Benefits and Widow Benefits:

Divorced Spouse Benefits: In order to receive benefits from an ex’s work history, the marriage must have been 10 years. Both people must be 62+ to apply. “But what if my ex-spouse is still working past 62 and doesn’t want to apply for benefits until 70?” If that’s the case, you may still apply if you meet the age criteria and have being divorced for 2+ years. While getting a divorced spouse’s benefits, getting remarried will stop these benefits. The only way to get them back after being remarried is if a death occurs, divorce, or annulment. Another interesting thing, if the ex-spouse gets remarried, and is getting a higher Social Security benefit, you can apply for your spousal benefit and get what they are receiving.

Widow Benefits: Widows are entitled to 100% of the higher earner’s retirement benefit if the decedent spouse had reached full retirement age before death.  Widow benefits can not be received until age 60. This becomes a tricky situation for young widows, who are considered to be in a blackout period until reaching age 60. A young widow may need to start accessing money earlier, but won’t be able to. There are a few exceptions, like a widow under age 61 may receive 75 percent of the decedent spouse’s benefit if she cares for an eligible child who is under the age of 16 or is disabled.

This information can also be found through research on websites such as the Social Security one given earlier. Being a widow can without a doubt alter your retirement plans, so it is important to educate yourself as much as possible if you find yourself in this position.

Tune into Bruce’s show on Tuesday for the next part of the 10 things you need to know to plan your retirement income series.

 

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