In this series, “Social Security Secrets,” experts Larry Kotlikoff and Phil Moeller explain the most important things you need to know about this valuable retirement benefit. Kotlikoff and Moeller are co-authors of the New York Times best-seller Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.
If you are at the age where you can apply for Social Security, and are divorced, there are a few things you need to know, according to Phil Moeller and Larry Kotlikoff, co-authors of Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security. One important point: In order to claim any Social Security benefits based upon your ex-spouse’s employment record, you need to have been married for 10 years. You cannot be remarried when you collect these benefits, and you have to be at least 62 years of age.
Your ex-spouse has to either be collecting Social Security already, be 62 years of age, or you have to have been divorced for two years if you file early.
One thing that people worry about unnecessarily is what happens to their own benefits if an ex-spouse files a claim based on them. Any claim by an ex-spouse has zero effect on the benefits you collect yourself.