Maximizing Retirement Benefits: How to Qualify for Spousal and Divorce Benefits

Boston, MA – Social Security plays a crucial role in the lives of millions of older adults, with many baby boomers relying on it as their primary source of retirement income. A report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies revealed that more than 40% of baby boomers consider Social Security benefits as their main financial support during retirement. To maximize these benefits, individuals should ensure they are taking advantage of all the options available to them.

For those who are married or divorced, there is a special type of Social Security benefit that could potentially increase payments by hundreds of dollars per month. Understanding whether you qualify for these benefits is essential for taking full advantage of the support available.

Spousal Social Security benefits are available to individuals who are married to someone entitled to retirement or disability benefits. On the other hand, divorce benefits are reserved for those who were previously married. In both cases, there are specific criteria that must be met in order to qualify for these benefits, including age and marital history. It is important to understand the eligibility requirements for each type of benefit in order to determine what you may be entitled to receive.

The amount individuals can receive each month through spousal or divorce benefits is dependent on various factors, including their spouse’s or ex-spouse’s benefit amount at full retirement age. It’s crucial to understand how these benefits may interact with other retirement benefits an individual may be entitled to based on their own work history. Additionally, the timing of when these benefits are claimed can have a significant impact on the amount individuals will receive each month.

One important factor to consider is the effect of these benefits on the payments received by a spouse or ex-spouse. It’s essential to understand that claiming spousal or divorce benefits will not impact how much the spouse or ex-spouse will receive. Similarly, if an ex-spouse has remarried, receiving divorce benefits will not affect their current spouse’s ability to claim spousal benefits on their record.

Understanding the intricacies of spousal and divorce benefits is crucial for individuals as they plan for retirement. By maximizing these benefits, individuals can enhance their financial security during their later years. It is important to stay informed about the options available and to make informed decisions about when and how to claim these benefits in order to ensure a secure and comfortable retirement.