In our last post, we began looking at the importance of the 10-year mark for marriage for purposes of Social Security retirement income. As we noted, ex-spouses who have not remarried are able to receive payments based on their former spouse’s record. For older couples who are contemplating divorce, timing may therefore become an issue.
An additional benefit available on a limited basis as a result of changes made last year allows divorced individuals who reached the age of 62 by the beginning of 2016 to file a restricted application for benefits at the age of 66, which would allow them to collect benefits based on their ex-spouse’s record while their own record continues to accrue until the age of 70. During that time, such individuals would be able to switch over to their own retirement benefit it ever became greater their ex-spousal benefit.