What Should Be My Plan?

Aug 3 2017 - 5:58am

Larry, I will be 66 yrs old Sept. 2017 (DOB 9/1951). I was married for over 10yrs and divorced over 20 yrs. Clincher: I am 11 yrs OLDER than my ex-spouse. He is still working at a high paying job. I retired at 62 yrs old and started collecting my early SS at that time and making ends meet with that added to my Pension from my former employment . My ex-spouse wants me to apply for his benefits now to get as much as I can off of his record. I told him my understanding was that he had to be 62 yrs old (He is 54 y/o at this writing; DOB 12/1962) for me to do that, even if I was eligible, which would put me at 73 yrs old. My SS check is $1048. My ex makes 6 figures in income. What should be my plan if I am even eligible to change mine to his? Sorry, but I have been told different things from SS personnel on the 800# and the local office. Thanks.

Hi,

You can't qualify for divorced spousal benefits until your ex-husband reaches age 62, unless he becomes entitled to disability benefits or dies before then (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0311.html). So, your plan should be to file for divorced spousal benefits whenever your ex a) turns 62 or b) becomes eligible for disability benefits or c) dies. Of course, in the latter case you would be filing for surviving divorced spousal benefits.

Best, Jerry