Can I Apply For Benefits On My Ex's Record At Age 66 And Then Apply For Mine At Age 70?

Sep 12 2019 - 9:39am

Getting ready to apply for social security this year @ 66 and want to know if can apply for ex's (married 10 +) portion (1/2 of his), he is 7 yrs older, and let then apply for mine at 70. How to find out if his is higher, or does this impact my situation? Thank you in advance for your time.


Yes, if you were born prior to January 2 1954 you can file just for divorced spousal benefits when you reach your full retirement age (FRA) of 66 and wait until age 70 to file for your own Social Security retirement benefits. In order for you to qualify for divorced spousal benefits, though, your ex-spouse must either be drawing his benefits or your ex must be at least age 62 and your divorce must have been final for at least 2 years.

Social Security should be able to tell you how much you could get as a divorced spouse at FRA, which would be equal to 50% of your ex's primary insurance amount (PIA). A person's PIA is the amount of their Social Security retirement benefit if they start drawing at FRA. If you file only for divorced spousal benefits at FRA, you could draw those benefits for 4 years and then switch to your own Social Security retirement benefits at age 70 assuming that your own rate is higher than your divorced spousal rate. Your Social Security retirement benefit rate would be 32% higher than your PIA if you wait until age 70 to file for your own benefits.

The strategy outlined above is likely your best option, but you may want to consider using our software ( to be sure.

Best, Jerry