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Divorce, Retirement, and Social Security

Divorce, Retirement, and Social SecurityConcerns about the economy are a prevalent topic of discussion throughout our nation. Divorce in itself can be a messy ordeal, but when combined with poor financial management or even the splitting of a family’s finances can be catastrophic to a single spouse’s financial future. This is not limited to just young couples, or even middle aged couples. As we have seen more and more examples of the elderly exploring divorce options, the financial repercussions can be especially hard on senior couples.

Not So Socially Secure

Many seniors rely on benefits, pensions, government programs, or other various forms of supplemental income to help them cope with their finances. Social security has been a hot political issue for some time now, and with a growing deficit, many worry that this long running social program may be in jeopardy by the time it’s the next generations turn to benefit from it. But in the increasingly popular case of grey divorce, there are important stipulations that spouses should be aware of when it comes to social security benefits.

If you are divorced and your marriage lasted 10 years or longer you are eligible to receive benefits on your spouse’s record, even if your ex-spouse has since remarried. However you must qualify in the following areas:

  1. You are unmarried
  2. You are age 62 or older
  3. Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and;
  4. The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.

If you remarry, however, you are generally not entitled to your ex-spouses benefits. If your marriage later ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment, you are entitled to receive benefits from your previous ex-spouse’s. There may be a situation where your ex-spouse is entitled to benefits but has not applied for them, you can receive benefits on his or her record but only if you have been divorced for 2 years or more.

Retirement, Pensions and Divorce

Finances can be tricky. Who gets what, for how long, and who’s eligible? Retirement and pensions can be a huge chunk of a senior couple’s income. Whenever there is a divorce later on in life, the division of this money and who can be eligible to receive benefits is a very important aspect of the process. Knowing some of the government stipulations can be helpful in the process of the divorce proceedings and maybe even in the decision of splitting itself.

If you are eligible for retirement benefits those will be paid. However, if you are eligible for benefits on your spouse’s record you will receive a combination of benefits to equal the higher amount. Also, if you have reached retirement age and are eligible for retirement benefits, but are also eligible to receive benefits off your spouse’s record, you have a choice on which you can receive.

As we see more and more examples of the elderly exploring the divorce process, the financial stipulations that go along with the proceedings are becoming more and more crucial. Seniors rely on the collective pension element of social security for financial stability in their twilight years. Throwing the element of divorce can make things even tougher. Families with 2 steady incomes still have trouble with finances after a divorce. Knowing the divorce laws in any situation, no matter the age or present income, can be crucial to getting through the process.

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