Claiming Social Security? Here’s How It Will Affect Your Spouse. | Personal Finance

Social Security benefits can not only affect your own retirement, but if you’re married or divorced, they could affect your spouse or ex-spouse as well.

If you’re thinking about filing for Social Security soon, it’s wise to make sure you know how your plans could affect your partner. By creating a strategy together, you can boost your Social Security payments and maximize your monthly income.

How your benefits could affect your spouse

If you’re married and entitled to Social Security benefits, your spouse could collect spousal benefits based on your work history.

To qualify for spousal benefits, you and your partner must currently be married, and his or her benefit amount must be less than half of the amount you can collect at your full retirement age (FRA).

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So, for example, say that you are entitled to receive $2,000 per month from Social Security at your FRA. The maximum your spouse can collect in spousal benefits, then, is $1,000 per month. If he or she is also receiving benefits based on his or her own work record, the Social Security Administration will only pay the higher of the two amounts — not both.


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