It’s not as uncommon as it used to be to get divorced or remarried after age 50. The US Census Bureau reported that the rate of divorce over the age of 50 has doubled in the last 25 years. On the other hand, the percent that are re-marrying later in life has also increased. Aside from all of the usual concerns associated with joining two lives and households together, women close to age 60 may be surprised to find out that they have an unexpected financial concern. If you are nearing age 50 and considering getting remarried, there are some things you need to know about your claim to your previous spouse’s social security benefits.
- A woman who devoted a considerable amount of time out of the workforce while managing a home and raising a family may find that she is dependent upon her claim to the social security benefits of their ex-husband. If you have been married for at least 10 years and are over age 62, you may be eligible to receive up to half of your ex-husband’s social security benefits. This is a valuable source of retirement income that women often neglect to consider in their divorce arrangements, especially if they are not close to age 62.
- A woman who was eligible to receive social security benefits from her ex-husband forfeits her claim to that income if she gets remarried. Maybe that is not a problem because you now have the benefit of your new husband’s income as well. You, however, won’t be eligible to claim social security benefits from your new husband until you reach your first wedding anniversary. So, you’ll want to discuss all of the financial implications related to social security benefits with a financial advisor.
- If you are a widow and considering getting remarried, you may also forfeit any claim to survivor benefits. You can’t claim these benefits until you reach age 60, but you also lose those rights if you remarry before age 60. If you are a widow and considering getting remarried in your late 50s, it might be financially beneficial to wait a little longer.
Although marriage and divorce decisions should never be solely based on financial considerations, women should not neglect to consider the impact that these decisions have on their financial outlook. Take some time to meet with your financial advisor and evaluate how the marriage will change your financial situation. This is good advice to follow no matter what your age.