Will Social Security tell me when my ex-husband dies?
My ex-husband is 13 years older than me and he’s made more money in his career than me. We have been married for over ten years and I am not yet married.
I have consulted with social security planners. Since my Social Security benefits are over 50% of his benefits and I will probably live ten years longer than him, they suggested that I claim Social Security with my own benefits as soon as possible and charge for survivor benefits. higher upon his death.
When my ex-wife applied for social security he pointed out that I was his wife at the time and had a divorce and income tax order as proof that our cohabitation marriage had lasted longer. 10 years, so I planned to provide this information to “Social Insurance.” Safety when I apply next year.
My question to you: since he has moved away from me, will social insurance automatically notify me of his death so that I can move to a higher survivor’s pension? How else do I know when to make the change?
Do you agree with the two social security planners that, given our age and income differences, my best course of action is to get my own benefits early and then get the survivor’s pension? ?
I wouldn’t expect the Social Security Administration to connect the dots here.
Usually the ritual hall will be a reminder of social insurance when someone dies. If someone is already claiming spousal benefits (in many cases the former spouse can also use the benefits), Social Security will automatically convert them to survivor benefits. The difference can be significant. The spousal grant can be up to 50% of the person’s total grant and the survivor can receive up to 100%.
Before we go any further, let’s first confirm the elephant in the room: planning social security benefits around the death of the ex-spouse can be a bit awkward. But it’s not to cheer on the death of your ex-husband. Your goal is to make sure that no benefits are left on the table, this is a must for anyone who has social security.
This is quite permitted. Require social security for the ex-spouse If you have been married for at least ten years, you have been divorced for two years and you have not remarried. The logic is that even if one spouse does not have a job or their income is drastically reduced, both spouses contribute financially.
This made a lot of people angry. But it really shouldn’t. If you receive benefits in your ex-spouse’s files, the impact on his or her benefits or on the benefits received by the surviving spouse will be zero.
The Social Security administration examines its records annually to see if the recipient is eligible for higher widow’s or widow’s benefits. But a lot of people are struggling. Last year, an internal Social Security audit found that around 15,000 people claimed to be entitled to higher survivor pensions based on their records.
So how do you make sure you’re not one of them? One option is to set up a Google alert for the ex-husband’s name. If you want to post an object notice online, you will receive a notification. It’s not foolproof, and if it has a super common name, it may not be feasible.
Another good solution is to call Social Insurance every six months. As long as you have your ex-husband’s Social Security number, the agency should be able to determine if he’s still alive. The reason for calling twice a year is that the Social Security administration can pay retroactive benefits for up to six months, so if you find out that your ex-husband is recently deceased, you can collect the survivor’s pension.
to get a survivor’s pension, you must complete a new application over the phone or visit your local office. Cannot apply for survivor benefits online. Keep the existing documents as you will need to provide a marriage certificate.
In the end, I’m not too worried about how you find your ex-husband’s death. In the digital age, this type of information tends to spread quickly.
What worries me even more is that you plan to receive your pension immediately at age 62. The reality is that about half of the elderly depend on social security for at least 50% of their income. By benefiting at 62, you earn about 76% less monthly income than at 70.
Statistically speaking, yes, you can outlive your ex-husband. However, you cannot make such an important financial decision based on the life expectancy chart alone. Your ex-husband can live to be 95 or 100 years old. Are you ready to live off your low income for 20 years or more?
I will not make any decision on the assumption that the survivor benefits will be higher at some point. If you can get permanently reduced benefits for the foreseeable future, you may not start participating in social insurance until next year.
Robin Hartill is a registered financial planner and senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. [email protected].