Understanding Social Security benefits is an important part of retirement planning. These payments can be affected by divorce, so a person in Wyoming will likely want to understand just what might happen if they choose to stay married, get divorced or remarry. When the person chooses to file for benefits also affects the Social Security payout.
A person who has been married at least 10 years is eligible to collect benefits on the record of the ex. This guideline shows support to those who choose to tend the home fires while the other partner earns more of the income. If an ex-partner has earned significantly less, there may be a financial benefit to claiming on the ex’s work record. One must also choose not to remarry in order to collect a spousal benefit.
As a general rule for Social Security, the longer a person waits to claim, the greater the benefit amount. It is possible to claim benefits before full retirement age, but the payment will be reduced. If the person waits until after retirement age, there are credits for waiting, and the benefit is increased. A person may only collect either the spousal benefit, or the delayed retirement credit, whichever one is greater.
By understanding the guidelines of Social Security, and how it can be affected by divorce, a person is more prepared to make sound choices about retirement planning. The government policies can sometimes be hard to interpret alone. In Wyoming, a person can choose to consult a lawyer for more help in understanding the laws about divorce and Social Security.
Source: wisebread.com, “How Divorce Can Impact Your Social Security Payments“, Emily Guy Birken, Dec. 6, 2017