Should I File On My Ex-Husband's Record?

Jan 27 2017 - 11:45am

Hi,
I retired early and began collecting social security at age 62. My ex-husband was able to collect a spousal amount based on my social security, which enabled him to keep working and delay his filing for social security until this month when he turned 70. He now collects $2500 after his medicare insurance, while I collect $1382. Would I be better off claiming on his SS or should I stick to my own? Thanks so much, Linda

Hi Linda,

It wouldn't hurt to check, but it doesn't sound like you'd be eligible for divorced spousal benefits. For you to qualify, 50% of your ex's full retirement age rate (PIA) would have to be more than your own PIA. If you started benefits at age 62 and now receive $1382, your PIA must be around $1800 or more. Your ex's PIA is probably only around $2000 judging from his age 70 rate. So, it certainly doesn't appear that you'd currently be eligible for anything on his record.

On a positive note, if he dies before you you would likely be eligible for his full rate, including the delayed retirement credits that he earned by waiting until age 70 to file on his own account. You wouldn't get both your own benefit and his, of course, just the higher of the two.

Best, Jerry