People are living longer and many Americans do not have enough money saved to retire comfortably. So, how do you make the most of your Social Security benefits? Our Money Watch Q & A guest has some suggestions. Pat Meidell is the Chairman of the Board of American Wealth Management.
Meidell says many people start collecting benefits at 62 years old, but you get penalized for starting before your full retirement age or "normal" retirement age. According to the Social Security Administration, the normal age has been 65 for many years. However, beginning with people born in 1938 or later, that age gradually increases until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959.
The Certified Financial Planner also shares some interesting information about who else can cash-in on your benefits. She says if you were married to someone at least 10 years and even if you are now divorced, your former spouse can collect 50% of the money. They need to be at least 62 years old, unmarried and they are not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.
According to the Social Security Administration, the former spouse must also be entitled to receive his or her own retirement or disability benefit. If the former spouse is eligible for a benefit, but has not yet applied for it, the divorced spouse can still receive a benefit if he or she meets the eligibility requirements above and has been divorced from the former spouse for at least two years. Generally, the SSA cannot pay benefits if the divorced spouse remarries someone other than the former spouse.
To learn more, contact our Money Watch Q & A expert at the contact information below:
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:02:30 GMT
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