Can I Draw On My Former Husband's Record At Age 66 And Switch To My Own Record At Age 70?

Mar 16 2017 - 7:00am

I'm a single woman raising a 14-year-old grandchild (she is now my daughter by adoption). I plan to work until 70. If I begin to draw at 66, my SS benefit is $1248. If I wait until 70, the benefit is $1648. Question: If I continue to work and contribute to SS, will my benefit ever reach the $1648 I would receive at 70 by waiting?

2nd Question: I am eligible to draw on my former husband's record. Can I begin to draw on his at 66 and switch to mine at 70? Is that allowable?

Thank you ever so much!

Hi,

With regard to your first question, I assume you mean if you start drawing your $1248 benefit at age 66 will it eventually increase to $1648 if you continue working and contributing to Social Security. That depends on your past earnings history and your future annual earnings amounts. Social Security retirement benefits are calculated based on your highest 35 years of work-adjusted earnings (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf). The maximization software available on this website allows you to enter projected future earnings in order to determine how much they would increase your benefit rate, so you might want to try that.

If you were born prior to January 2 1954, you can file just for divorced spousal benefits at age 66 and then switch to your own record at age 70. If that's the case, that may be your best filing strategy, but the maximization software will tell you for sure. However, if you were born after January 1 1954, that's no longer an option (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/deemedfaq.html).

Best, Jerry