How do I determine the best claiming strategy involving ex-spousal benefits?

Published: January 10, 2024

Full Question: I am divorced born after 1954, and was married for more than 10 years. My ex-spouse has remarried while I have not, and while I do have some earnings to claim, claiming as an ex-spouse will provide the higher estimate. My concern is that while I have reached FRA, my ex-spouse won’t for another two years and hasn’t starting claiming yet. How can I evaluate my options by claiming now versus waiting 2 years until my ex spouse reaches FRA?

Hi there,

The good news is that once you have been divorced for over 2 years, you are “independently entitled” to the ex-spousal benefits even if your ex has not started collecting retirement benefits yet.

Ex-spousal benefits do not increase any higher than if claimed after your FRA, however your own retirement benefit will still increase from delayed retirement benefits up until age 70.

So, if you have been divorced for over two years (or as soon as you are), you can file for benefits, including your own and the ex-spousal to make sure you receive the highest amount.

For personalized assistance and/or support determining the optimal filing strategy for you, schedule a call with an RSSA here.

All the best,

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