One of the most pressing concerns for many people who are divorcing or have divorced in Texas is how they will be able to support themselves after retirement. Divorce can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans, but there are options available to ease the possible financial strain that divorce can put on retirement planning.
Meeting the requirements
While it is possible to claim Social Security retirement benefits on an ex-spouse’s record after divorce, you must first meet the requirements to do so. The requirements include:
• Having been married to that ex-spouse for at least 10 years
• Not having remarried after the divorce
• Being at least 62 years old
• Specific requirements based on your situation
What is the Social Security retirement benefit worth?
If you are claiming retirement benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work record, you will be entitled to 50% of the full monthly value of the benefit. If this is higher than what you would be entitled to if you are using your own record, then this will be beneficial to you.
Additional Social Security benefits
You might also be eligible to claim a death benefit if your ex-spouse dies. In that case, the benefit might be as high as 100% of what your ex-spouse had been receiving as retirement benefits. While you must still have met the requirement of the 10-year mark for the marriage, there are some differences in requirements, such as being able to remarry after age 60 and still qualifying to claim the death benefit.
Social Security retirement benefits are just one part of the retirement planning strategy. Do not overlook them during the divorce negotiations. You should also explore how any retirement accounts and pension plans might be divided as part of the divorce settlement. Together, these benefits and accounts can help you plan for a more secure retirement period.