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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 34884
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I am approaching age 62 and divorced from a 23 year marriage

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I am approaching age 62 and divorced from a 23 year marriage for 10 years now. I was a stay at home Mom for much of our marriage and my own benefits are very low, even if I wait to age 66. I never remarried and my ex husband is 3 years younger. Do I qualify for his benefits at 62 even if he is age 59? If so what percentage of his benefits do I receive and would it be better to wait until I am 66?

Good afternoon Nancy,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

You qualify for your ex-spouse benefits based on having been married for 10 years or more, divorced for at least 2 years and reaching age 62. The fact that your ex is younger than you, or has not yet begun collecting his benefit doesn’t; matter.

If you retire at age 62, you will collect 35% of his full retirement benefit. If you wait until age 66, you will collect 50% of his full retirement benefit.

The big question most people have is which is better in the long run---to wait or take the benefit at age 62.

To answer that question, I can say that if you are employed and don’t need the additional money, then waiting is better.

The way the benefit works though if you take your benefit at age 62 and live much past 76, you will have lost money by taking it early. And because no one knows when they will die, therein lies the risk.

But you can collect the benefit as early as age 62, and each month that you postpone collecting up through age 66, your lifetime benefit will go up a little bit each month---all in all about 4% a year increase until age 66 at which time there is no further benefit to waiting.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your thorough answer. Is there a way of knowing what my ex-spouses retirement amount is?

Hi Nancy,

That is really the $64,000 question---and the answer is no, you cannot know with any real certainty what that benefit to you might be---at least not until you actually apply for social security.

For what it is worth, the average person retiring now gets about $1500 a month. If your husband often made the equivalent of about $100,000 per year---weighted of course based on when it was earned----$100,000 today was about $50,000 twenty years ago----then he might be expected to qualify for $2000 to $2500 a month---and your benefit would be the percentage of that value.

Thank you for your kind words. They are appreciated.Please keep in mind that until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be credited with helping you.

Thanks again.

Have a great day,


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