Ask Larry

Do You Know Of Any Information I'm Missing?

I am 64 and have a FRA of 66 and 6 months. I spent a number of years out of the market due to raising children and caring for parents. My marriage of 30 years ended in 2015. I understand that I can take 1/2 of former spouses amount.
I am in the lower margin of income so 1/2 of spouses will be about $1200 a month. So do you know of any info I am missing? File and suspend does not apply to my situation.
Thanks for the advice

Hi. Not really. It sounds like your only real option comes down to when to apply for Social Security benefits. Since you were born after January 1 1954, whenever you apply for either your own Social Security retirement benefits or for divorced spousal benefits you'll be deemed to be applying for both benefits. The only way that you could apply for one of those benefits without being deemed to be filing for the other benefit is if your ex-spouse is deceased.

Assuming that your ex is still living and is at least age 62 or is drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits and If you claim benefits at your full retirement age (FRA) you'll then be eligible for the higher of a) your own unreduced Social Security retirement benefit rate, or b) 50% of your ex's primary insurance amount (PIA). A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing their benefits at full retirement age (FRA). But, if you choose to start drawing prior to FRA your benefit rate will be reduced for age.

If your ex is still living and if 50% of his or her PIA is substantially higher than your own benefit rate then you would almost certainly not want to wait past your FRA to start drawing benefits. Whether or not you'd want to start drawing before then depends on your individual circumstances. You may want to consider using our software ( to fully analyze the options available to you in order to determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Sep 7 2021 - 2:50pm
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