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How Much Social Security Am I Entitled To

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Am I Entitled To My Ex Spouses Social Security

As a US expat am I entitled to Social Security?

It is always a tough question when you are asking, Am I entitled to my ex-spouses social security number? When you and your spouse separate, you should have no problem obtaining his or her social security number, as long as you can show a valid reason.

This is one of the main reasons why divorce is almost always a good thing because the couple can now work out their issues together instead of going back. And forth in court over their property/financial issues. However, if the separation was amicable, then this might not be a big deal for you.

The most important thing to do when you are asking, Am I entitled to my ex-spouses social security number? It is to make sure that the information you are requesting is completely legitimate. You dont want to end up doing anything illegal or wasting time in the system. So make sure you find a way to acquire the persons social security number legally.

When asking, Am I entitled to my ex-spouses social security number? Its important to remember that it is not your fault that your spouse divorced you. So if you ever decide to remarry, you will need to get their new social security card.

In fact, in many cases, you might even be required to get a remarriage permit . If you would like to start over and get your lost marriage back the best way to do so legally is to have your ex-spouses old social security card on hand.

How Much Does A Surviving Divorced Spouse Get From Social Security

Widow or widower, full retirement age or older100 percent of your benefit amount. Widow or widower, age 60 to full retirement age 71½ to 99 percent of your basic amount. Disabled widow or widower, age 50 through 5971½ percent. Widow or widower, any age, caring for a child under age 1675 percent.

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Myth #: You Must Claim Your Social Security Benefit At Age 62

Some people think you have to start claiming your Social Security benefits at age 62. That’s a myth: 62 is the earliest age you can claim your benefit, but it’s not the only age to do so.

Your base benefit is calculated according to your “full retirement age,” or FRA, and your FRA is determined by your date of birth. The Social Security Administration calculates your base Social Security benefit based on your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most .

Tip: You’ll find your FRA at Social Security’s website,, or on a paper statement mailed to you by the SSA. If you were born between 1955 and 1959, your FRA is 66 plus some months. If you were born in 1960 or later, your FRA is 67.

If you claim Social Security benefits any time before your FRA, you lock in a permanent reduction in monthly income. Claiming at 62 translates to a reduced monthly income of 25% to 30%, relative to your FRA monthly benefit. That means you may receive a lot less monthly retirement income, every year, for potentially several decades. A key consideration for when you claim Social Security benefits is maximizing your income for a retirement that could last longer than 30 years.

Wait until age 70 and lock in a “bonus”:

Read Viewpoints on Longevity and retirement

Brief History Of Social Security

Can you get Medicare at age 62?

The Social Security program was created by the Social Security Act that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law in 1935. The first checks went out in 1940. Originally it paid benefits only to workers 65 and older, but in the 1970s the government altered it to allow workers to claim benefits as early as 62. It also instituted annual cost-of-living adjustments to help Social Security keep pace with inflation.

The program has worked fairly well so far, but many people fear for the future, when there will be fewer workers to support a greater number of Social Security recipients. The latest Social Security Trustees’ Report indicates the program’s trust funds would be depleted by 2035, after which it would be able to pay out only about 76% of benefits to retirees and about 92% to disabled workers.

The government has proposed several possible solutions for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the program, but at present no plans have been set. There’s no risk of the program disappearing in the next decade or two, but it’s possible future benefits may not go as far as they do today. That’s why today’s workers need to prioritize their personal retirement savings, so they can cover most of their expenses on their own.

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What If I Delay Taking My Benefits

If you retire sometime between your full retirement age and age 70, you typically earn a “delayed retirement” credit . For example, say you were born in 1951 and your full retirement age is 66. If you started your benefits at age 68, you would receive a credit of 8% per year multiplied by two . This makes your benefit 16% higher than the amount you would have received at age 66. .

That higher baseline lasts for the rest of your retirement, and serves as the basis for future increases linked to inflation. While its important to consider your personal circumstancesits not always possible to wait, particularly if you are in poor health or cant afford to delaythe benefits of waiting can be significant.

If you decide to wait past age 65, you may still need to sign up for Medicare. In some circumstancesyour Medicare coverage may be delayed and cost more if you do not sign up at age 65.

To review your situation, your annual Social Security statement will list your projected benefits at age 62, full retirement age, and age 70, assuming you continue to work and earn about the same amount until age 62, full retirement age, or age 70 before retiring. If you need a copy of your annual statement, you can request one from the Social Security Administration .

When Can I Start Collecting Social Security Benefits

In the past the standard retirement age was 65. A person could start collecting social security benefits at the age of 62, however the amount of their benefit would be less than it would be if they waited until the age of 65. The age of 65 was the so-called full retirement age. A persons full retirement age is the age at which they can claim their full Social Security retirement benefit.

Gradually, however, the SSA has been raising the age of full retirement to 67. This means that a person can still claim their benefit when they are 62, but they will receive significantly less than if they wait until their full retirement age. If a person was born between 1943 and 1954, their full retirement age is 66. If a person was born between 1955 and 1960, the full retirement age is 67. For anyone born after 1960, the full retirement age is 67.

However, even if a person reaches their full retirement age at 66 or 67, if a person waits, their benefit amount rises every month until they reach the age of 70. Then it stops increasing. So some people think it is advantageous to wait as long as possible, even until the age of 70, to start collecting Social Security benefits.

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Divorced Know This Significant Exception To The Rule

When planning your Social Security filing strategy, its important to note that you cannot file for a spousal benefit until the higher earning spouse files for their benefit.

But this does not apply if your are filing for a spousal benefit from an ex-spouse.

If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years and your ex-spouse is at least 62.

How Much Social Security Benefits Am I Entitled To

When Am I Eligible To Take and Collect Social Security

The amount of Social Security retirement benefits that a person is entitled to does not depend on the persons financial needs. Instead, it is mostly based on the amount of income that they have earned and the number of years that they have worked. The amount of a persons Social Security retirement benefit is based on a persons average income over their working years, the number of years they have worked, their spouses average income, and the age at which a person claims their benefit.

The SSA keeps records of all of a persons years of employment and the amount the person earned in each year. A person can access this information at the SSA website. It is a good idea to check the SSAs record for the persons years of employment and pay and ensure that it is correct. If it is not, a person can submit information to correct the record. It is important because it can affect the amount of a persons retirement benefit. The more years a person has worked and the more money they have earned while working, the higher the amount of their retirement benefit will be.

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How Your Social Security Benefits Are Calculated

Your Social Security benefits are based on the 35 calendar years in which you earned the most money. If you have fewer than 35 years of earnings, each year with no earnings will be factored in at zero. You can increase your Social Security benefit at any time by replacing a zero or low-income year with a higher-income year.

There is a maximum Social Security benefit amount you can receive, though it depends on the age you retire. For someone at full retirement age in 2021, the maximum monthly benefit is $3,113. For someone filing at age 70, the maximum monthly amount is $3,895.

You can estimate your own benefit by using Social Security’s online Retirement Estimator.

Spouses Who Dont Qualify For Their Own Social Security

Spouses who didnt work at a paid job or didnt earn enough credits to qualify for Social Security on their own are eligible to receive benefits starting at age 62 based on their spouses record. As with claiming benefits on your own record, your spousal benefit will be reduced if you take it before reaching your FRA. The highest spousal benefit that you can receive is half of the benefit that your spouse is entitled to at their FRA.

While spouses get a lower benefit if they claim before reaching their own FRA, they will not get a larger spousal benefit by waiting to claim after their FRAsay, at age 70. However, a nonworking or lower-earning spouse may get a larger spousal benefit if the working spouse has some late-career, high-earning years that boost their benefits.

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There Are Social Security Benefits For Surviving Spouses And Children

If your spouse dies before you, you can take a Social Security survivor benefit, but not in addition to your own benefit. You must choose one or the other. If you are at full retirement age, that benefit is worth 100% of what your spouse was receiving at the time of his or her death .

A widow or widower can start taking a survivor benefit at age 60, but the benefit will be reduced because it’s taken before full retirement age. If you remarry before age 60, you cannot get a survivor benefit. But if you remarry after age 60, you may be eligible to receive a survivor benefit based on your former spouse’s earnings record.

Eligible children who are under age 18 or were disabled before age 22 can also receive a Social Security survivor benefit, worth up to 75% of the deceased’s benefit.

If You Were Employed But Werent Covered By Social Security

Am I Able to Get Social Security Retirement Benefits if I ...

In the beginning, Social Security didnt cover any public sector employees. But as many states dropped their own pension plans and adopted coverage agreements with the Social Security Administration, things have changed.

Today there are still 15 states that participate solely in their own pension plans instead of Social Security:

Those states are:

  • Rhode Island
  • Texas

If you are a teacher in one of those states, the rules for collecting a Teachers Retirement System pension and Social Security can be confusing and maddening to try and figure out.

Thats especially true if youve paid into the Social Security system for enough quarters to qualify for a benefit, which is fairly common among teachers.

Many teachers find themselves in this situation for a variety of reasons. For some, teaching is a second career, after theyve spent years working in a job or a state where Social Security taxes were withheld.

Others may have taught in a state where teachers do participate in Social Security. For example, teachers in my town, which is divided between the states of Arkansas and Texas, could qualify for both.

If they worked in Arkansas for at least 10 years and then taught in Texas , they would qualify for both Social Security and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

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You Don’t Need To Be A Us Citizen To Qualify For Social Security Retirement Benefit

It doesn’t matter whether you are a U.S. citizen or not. Anyone who earns 40 work credits is eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefit. You get one credit for every $1,320 you earn in 2018 up to a maximum of 4 credits in any given year. The dollar amount is indexed for inflation. And due to the annual four credits limitation, the 40-credits generally equal to 10 years of work.

You Or Your Family Members May Be Eligible For Increased Benefits

Our mission is to deliver Social Security services that meet the changing needs of the public.

It’s not unusual for a benefit recipient’s circumstances to change after they apply or became eligible for benefits. If you, or a family member, receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income , certain life changes may affect eligibility for an increase in your federal benefits. For example, if your spouse or ex-spouse dies, you may become eligible for a higher Social Security benefit.

To find out if you, or a family member, might be eligible for a benefit based on another persons work, or a higher benefit based on your own work, see the information about benefits on the Social Security website. You can also use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool to find out if you could get benefits that Social Security administers. Based on your answers to questions, this tool will list benefits for which you might be eligible and tell you more information about how to qualify and apply.

The questions and answers below are about a few of the life changes that could possibly increase your benefits.

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Eligibility When Your Ex

If your ex-husband dies, you may receive benefits on his record, as long as your marriage lasted for at least 10 years. If you dont meet the 10-year marriage rule, you can still qualify for benefits if all of the following are true: youre caring for your ex-husbands natural or legally adopted child the child is under age 16, or disabled, and the child is getting benefits on your ex-husbands work record. Your benefits will continue until the child reaches age 16 or the childs disability ceases. The amount of benefits you receive as a divorced spouse will not affect the amount of benefits other survivors receive on your exs record.

How To Decide When To Claim Social Security

Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

Think less about when you should claim Social Security and more about what you can do. Once understand what can do, in a position to decide what you should do, said Czarnowski.

One thing thats critical to learn is your full retirement age or FRA. Thats the age at which you’re entitled to your full retirement benefit amount. And your year of birth determines your FRA.

You can find your FRA by birth year on the Social Security website. But you dont have to claim at FRA. In fact, you can start collecting benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. If, however, you start receiving benefits early, your benefits are reduced permanently a small percent for each month before your FRA. And if you delay your benefits until after FRA, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit.

But no matter when you claim, make it an informed decision, Czarnowski said.

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What You Should Know About Full Retirement Age

You can retire at any time between age 62 and full retirement age.

However, if you start benefits early, your benefits are reduced a small percentage for each month before your full retirement age.

You will draw benefits for a longer period, but the amount you receive each month would be reduced.

If you were born inYour full retirement age is
1937 or earlier

If you delay your retirement benefits until after full retirement age, you also may be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit.

Heres a comparison of how retirement works drawing your own benefits vs. drawing a spouses benefits if your full retirement is at age 67

If you start your retirement benefits at age 62, your monthly benefit amount is reduced by about 30 percent. The reduction for starting benefits at age:

  • 63 is about 25 percent
  • 64 is about 20 percent
  • 65 is about 13.3 percent
  • 66 is about 6.7 percent

If you start receiving spouses benefits at age 62, your monthly benefit amount is reduced to about 32.5 percent of the amount your spouse would receive if their benefits started at full retirement age. The reduction for starting benefits as a spouse at age:

  • 63 is about 65 percent
  • 64 is about 62.5 percent
  • 65 is about 58.3 percent
  • 66 is about 54.2 percent
  • 67 is 50 percent

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