Q:

Can I collect on my ex-husband's Social Security at age 62 and then on mine at age 66?

A:

Quick Answer

According to PBS, a spouse who claims benefits at age 62 will receive the larger of either her or her ex-husbands benefits. She cannot choose which benefit to collect. Further, she forfeits the right to claim an 8 percent credit for each year she delays collecting benefits from the time she reaches full retirement age until she is 70 years old.

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Full Answer

According to the Social Security Administration, an ex-wife may collect Social Security retirement or disability benefits on an ex-spouses record as long their marriage lasted at least 10 years and she has not remarried. If she remarries, but the second marriage ends, she may still be able to collect on her former spouse's benefit after two years. If she waits until she has reached full retirement age, the benefit she receives is calculated as one-half of the ex-spouse's full retirement amount. If she has earned her own Social Security benefit and her benefit is lower than one-half of her former spouse's entitlement, she receives a combination benefit equal to the higher amount. Further, if she waits until she has reached full retirement age to file, she can choose to receive her ex-spouses benefits first and delay receiving her own benefit and take advantage of the Delayed Retirement Credit of 8 percent per year.

If an ex-wife files for her former spouses benefits at age 62; however, her benefit amount goes down. According to the latest figures from the SSA, if she files at age 62, her benefit is equal to about 32.5 percent of his full retirement benefit.That amount increases each year until she reaches full retirement age, which is 65 for anyone born before 1938 and 67 for anyone born after 1960. The age increases slightly for each year between 1938 and 1959.

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