Application for social benefits and divorced spouse, Part 2: Remarriage



Suppose her new husband’s primary insurance amount is $ 2,800 per month. The maximum spousal benefit is 50% of her PIA, or $ 1,400 per month.

In Tammy’s case, her top-up is calculated as follows: $ 1,400 (maximum spousal benefit) – $ 1,130 (her own PIA) = $ 270. Because she has passed the full retirement age (FRA), she would get the full top-up amount of $ 270 added to her existing reduced benefit. Therefore, her new benefit amount after remarriage would be approximately $ 1,120 ($ 850 + $ 270).

The exact amount of her payment will be based on her new husband’s actual AIP and cost of living increases over the years.

Will Tammy ever be able to collect anything from her first husband’s file?

Tammy’s last question was to find out more about her ex’s work history. She wrote: “His benefits should be quite substantial since he has had well-paying jobs since he was 24. Can’t I get a better rate on him? “

The only way to get a supplement for a former spouse is to remain single. If she does not remarry, when her ex turns 62, she could then ask Social Security for a recalculation of her benefits and obtain any applicable ex-spouse supplement.

However, Tammy can eventually “put herself in her shoes” and collect her benefit if she becomes the only surviving wife. If she doesn’t remarry and her ex dies first and he was getting over $ 850 from her a month, she can claim the title of a surviving ex-spouse. Whatever amount he received, it will become his survivor benefit.

If she remarries, as it seems she prefers, and her new husband and ex die before her, she will receive a benefit. This will be the highest profit between the two men. It could be that her ex was making $ 2,950 a month and her second husband was making $ 2,800. In this case, her survivor benefit would in fact be based on her ex’s benefit.

Remember, it’s a good idea for counselors to ask their clients what they’ve heard about how Social Security works. Often times, all the “facts” of friends and family are loaded with incorrect, misinformed and even scandalous information. Set the rules before customers miss out on opportunities or make irrevocable mistakes.

Marcia Mantell is the Founder and President of Mantell Retirement Consulting, Inc., a retirement business development, marketing, communications and education company supporting the financial services industry, advisors and their clients. She is the author of “What’s Wrong with Retirement Planning for Women?” “,” What’s wrong with social security for women? And blogs at


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