When you and your Florida husband or wife decide to part ways, you may not give too much thought to when, exactly, your marriage ends. However, you might be remiss not to consider this, especially if you are divorcing later on in life and retirement is not too far away. Why? Depending in the length of your marriage, you may qualify to collect Social Security retirement benefits based on the earnings history of your ex-spouse.
CNBC reports that divorce later in life, or “gray” divorce, is becoming more common than ever, with individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 now among those most likely to end their marriages. For this reason, having enough money socked away for retirement has become an increasingly common concern.
Determining if you qualify for spousal benefits
As long as your former partner spent enough time working in a position where he or she contributed to Social Security to qualify for these benefits on his or her own, you may have the option of collecting a “spousal benefit” even after you split. However, your ability to do so depends on whether your marriage met or exceeded the 10-year mark.
Determining how much you might get
If you have enough of a work history to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits yourself, you may want to do the math to figure out how much you would get if you did so. If you use your ex’s work history to get these benefits, the most you may get is half of how much your ex-husband or ex-wife does.
Note, too, that your former spouse does not lose out on any money if you decide to collect these benefits using his or her earnings history.