When your Texas marriage ends, you may find that your financial future looks quite a bit different than it did during your marriage. If you sacrificed your own professional career for that of your partner, you may feel especially fearful about having enough to get by later in life. However, many people do not realize that they may be eligible to collect Social Security retirement benefits using an ex-spouse’s earnings history, as opposed to their own.
CNBC reports that about 30% of Americans do not realize this in an option. However, before you collect Social Security benefits using your ex’s work history, there are two things you want to figure out.
Whether you are eligible to do so
To collect Social Security retirement benefits using your former spouse’s work history, he or she first has to qualify for them. Whether your ex does so depends on how much time he spent working in a position covered by Social Security. If your ex does qualify, whether you are eligible to collect these benefits using his or her work record depends on the length of your union. Your marriage had to last at least 10 years for this to be an option for you.
Whether it makes financial sense to do so
Depending on your own work history, you may also qualify for these benefits on your own accord. The most you may collect in benefits if you do so using your ex’s work history is half the amount he or she does. Thus, it makes sense to figure out if you would get more based on your own history or your ex’s and proceed accordingly.
It is also worth noting that the maximum amount given in Social Security retirement benefits may fluctuate from year to year.