Social Security Q&A: Will Court-Ordered Payments from My Ex Reduce My Benefits?

Today’s question asks if payments from an ex-spouse ordered by a court will reduce Social Security benefits. The answer reviews the effect of the court-ordered payments on retirement benefits based on the questioner's own record as well as on spousal and survivor benefits based on the ex's record. Forbes - Personal Finance Read more [...]

Social Security Q&A: If I’m Twice-Divorced, Can I Claim on My First Spouse’s Record?

Today’s question asks if it’s possible to claim widow’s benefits based on the record of a first spouse after marrying and divorcing a second spouse. The answer discusses eligibility for survivor’s benefits and examines potential ways to maximize available benefits by potentially suspending receipt of retirement benefits to earn delayed retirement credits. Forbes - Personal Finance Read more [...]

Social Security Q&A: How Should I File if My Spouse Did Not Always Pay into Social Security?

Today’s question asks about the best filing strategy if a portion of a spouse’s earnings were covered by Social Security and another portion was not. The answer explains the effects of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Provision Offset (GPO) on various benefits as well as the effects of claiming early benefits before full retirement age. Forbes - Personal Finance Read more [...]

Social Security Q&A: Do I Have to Repay Benefits I’ve Received to Suspend Receipt at 66?

Today’s question asks if the Social Security office was correct when it said benefits must be repaid in order to suspend receipt at full retirement age so delayed retirement credits can be earned. The answer reviews the different requirements for suspending and for withdrawing, how benefits can be reduced and increased, and addresses whether it’s possible to voluntarily pay into Social Security Forbes - Personal Finance Read more [...]

Social Security Q&A: Can My Non-Citizen Spouse Receive Spousal Benefits if We Retire Abroad?

Today’s question asks if a non-citizen spouse can receive a spouse’s benefit if the couple moves out of the U.S. The answer reviews the complexity of such situations, including such factors as the country of citizenship and the specific of their time outside the U.S., and recommends a source for more information. Forbes - Personal Finance Read more [...]

Social Security Q&A: Are Benefits Means-Tested or Earnings-Tested and Does This Ever End?

Today’s question asks if Social Security benefits are means-tested and, if so, for how long. The answer explains the effects and duration of earnings test and as well as how the adjustment of the reduction factor will, at full retirement age, account for the fact that you didn't receive benefits that were wiped out due to the earnings test. Forbes - Personal Finance Read more [...]

Social Security Q&A: Will I Get My Spousal Benefit Instead of, or in Addition to, My Retirement Benefit?

Today’s question asks if, after taking an early reduced retirement benefit, the spouse’s benefit benefit is received in addition to, or instead of, the reduced retirement benefit. The answer explains how filing and suspending may allow one spouse to claim a spouse’s benefit while the other spouse continues to earn delayed retirement credits till 70 and also explores the possibility of withdrawing a claim, repaying benefits, and reapplying for a spouse’s benefit at full retirement age to avoid Read more [...]