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Married couples have lots of different options for strategizing to increase their Social Security benefits. While you may assume you lose that ability if you divorce, that’s not necessarily the case.
In fact, it’s important you know the rules for how the end of your marriage can affect your retirement income, as you don’t want to make a mistake that could cost you benefits you’re entitled to. In particular, here are three key things you need to know.
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1. You may still be eligible to claim spousal and survivor benefits
If your spouse earned more than you, spousal or survivor benefits may provide more money than you’d be eligible for if you claimed Social Security based on your own work history. You may also be able to claim survivor benefits at a younger age than your retirement benefits become available.
The good news is, you don’t necessarily lose access to survivor or spousal benefits when you divorce. If you were married for at least 10 years and haven’t remarried someone else, spousal benefits should be available. And survivor benefits are also available after a marriage of at least a decade, as long as you don’t remarry someone else …
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