Ex-Spouse Benefits And How They Affect You

Just like during tax season, it’s good to have all the information you need early so you can prepare and get any money you are due.

If you are age 62, unmarried, and divorced from someone entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on his or her record. To be eligible, you must have been married to your ex-spouse for 10 years or more. If you have since remarried, you can’t collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ended by annulment, divorce, or death. Also, if you’re entitled to benefits on your own record, your benefit amount must be less than you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work. In other words, we’ll pay the higher of the two benefits for which you’re eligible, but not both. Continue reading


What Every Woman Should Know About Social Security

Suze OrmanRetirement planning is especially challenging for women. We tend to live longer, and it’s not uncommon to have “off-ramped” from work at some point(s) to raise kids or care for a loved one. And because this affects lifetime earnings, it may also affect your eventual Social Security benefit. Don’t get me started on the gender wage gap. Continue reading


What Are the Most Common Retirement Questions You Receive about Social Security?

Suze OrmanThere are two big questions I hear plenty.

  1. My husband wants to retire at 62 and start taking Social Security. Is that okay?

This typically comes up because husbands are often a few years older than their wives, and figure they want to “get their money’s worth” by taking Social Security as early as possible. I think that can be a bad move. Unless you have oodles of money to live on in retirement, you — as a couple — want to maximize your Social Security payout for the longest surviving spouse. It’s important to understand that when one spouse dies, the other spouse is entitled to just one Social Security payment. So you want the surviving spouse to have the biggest possible benefit. Here’s how: Whichever spouse is the higher earner (and thus eligible for a bigger Social Security benefit) should  delay taking Social Security at least until their Full Retirement Age (FRA), which is between age 66 and 67, depending on the year you were born. Continue reading


Our Top Ten Blogs

top-ten-blogsSocial Security is always looking for ways to improve how we communicate with you. It’s been a year-and-a-half since we joined the blogosphere, and we couldn’t be happier! This blog is exactly what we envisioned, an honest conversation with you about our programs, the topics that matter to you, and how our agency can better serve you.   Continue reading


2015: The Year In Review

2015 was a special year for Social Security – we launched our very first blog, “Social Security Matters.” This blog has helped us cover the issues and concerns that are most important to our beneficiaries and their families. Thank you for reading our blog and joining the conversation about Social Security. We look forward to having more conversations with you in the upcoming year.

While we were partial to storytelling about the 80th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, we invite you to check out our top ten Social Security Blog Posts for 2015:

  1. Medicare Open Enrollment: Five Things You Need to Do

The Medicare open enrollment period ran from October 15 through December 7. This was the time to make changes to your current Medicare coverage for 2016. To get a jump-start on open enrollment season, we offered five helpful tips to make sure you were prepared to Continue reading