Ladies and gentlemen who are married to or were married to a Lockheed Martin employee, this blog is for you. Today we are going to be discussing your Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s income.
Let’s start by reviewing the eligibility requirements to receive spousal Social Security benefits.
- You must be at least 62 years old.
- If married, your spouse must have already applied for his/her benefit.
- If divorced, you must have been married for at least 10 years and currently be single.
- If widowed, your benefit will be based on survivor benefits which we will discuss in a later blog.
Now that you know the requirements, let’s get into some details. One of the largest misnomers is that as a spouse you will receive half (50%) of your husband’s or wife’s Social Security benefit rather than your own. That’s not exactly true. The reason why is that if you qualify to have your own Social Security benefit and it is lower than half of your spouse’s, then you will continue to receive your own benefit as well as the difference between your own benefit and half of your spouse’s benefit.
As an example, John Doe has a Social Security benefit of $3,600 per month, and his wife, Jane, has her own benefit of $1,200. Jane would receive her $1,200 plus an additional $600, equaling $1,800 per month which is half of John’s benefit.
The example above is assuming the Doe’s have reached their full retirement age as defined by the Social Security Administration. If they had started their benefits prior to their full retirement age, then they would have a permanently reduced benefit. In addition, if Jane’s benefit was greater than half of John’s, say her benefit was $1,900, then she would only receive her benefit and none of his.
Social Security has an online calculator that shows you the percentage of your spouse’s benefits you will get, based on your age when you apply.
It’s important to note that the calculation gets a bit more complicated if you are eligible to receive benefits from a government pension or foreign employer that is not covered by Social Security. In that case, you may still be eligible, but the amount will be reduced.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when discussing and deciding on when to start your Social Security benefit. The choices you make can have a significant impact on your long-term future. To start the conversation about what you should do, give us a call to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Lockheed Martin experts.
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Be sure and check back next week for more incredibly valuable information. Cheers!
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This blog is being provided and sponsored by Strittmatter Wealth Management Group, LLC. Lockheed Martin and its subsidiaries do not endorse, recommend, or make representations with respect to any information, advice, services, or products discussed in this blog.
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