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Papirex


Oct 4, 2006, 4:48 PM

Post #26 of 32 (5447 views)

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Re: [melsie] silly newbie w/passport & transport needs camping companion

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Melsie, I think it would be Prudent to check out the Social Security website, and to contact a Social Security office regarding your plan to collect half of your husbands SS benefits as well as your own. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/

The latest solid information I had (several years ago) was that you cannot collect SS benefits on two accounts. You may collect on an ex-husbands account if the marriage lasted for ten years or longer, but not on his account and your own. It is an either-or situation; pick the highest one.

Collecting SS benefits on an ex-spouses account will not reduce the amount of the ex-spouses benefit. Contrary to popular belief, both parties in this situation will receive the full benefit earned by the primary account holder. The primary account holder must be of retirement age, or retired, before an ex-spouse may begin receiving benefits.

The folks at Social Security are past masters at obfuscation. They usually will never give an exact answer to any question, but will indicate that when you retire everything will be resolved to your satisfaction.

It took a lot of digging, and prying for me to get accurate information regarding this situation over ten years ago. I have an ex-wife that was retiring then, I wasnít retiring then but I was of retirement age. Her SS benefits are much smaller than mine are.

She got some mis-information and thought that I had to be retired, and that she would only get half of my benefit amount. She still refuses to look into filing on my benefit account. If she would do that, the amount she receives in SS benefits would double. She is the mother of my kids, but I have given up on trying to help her on this.

Lastly, I advise anyone not to believe what you have been told, but only what you know.

Rex






"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


misslyn

Oct 4, 2006, 5:10 PM

Post #27 of 32 (5443 views)

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Re: [RexC] silly newbie w/passport & transport needs camping companion

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Rex, you are correct except that the divorced spouse would receive only 50% of her former husband's SS benefits. I had occasion to check into this myself. In my case, 50% now would be far less than my own full benefits later, but it varies depending on one's situation. Here are the relevant portions on this issue that I found and bookmarked:





How does a divorced spouse qualify for benefits?



Question

How does a divorced spouse qualify for benefits?



Answer

A person can receive benefits as a divorced spouse on a former spouseís Social Security record if he or she:
  • was married to the former spouse for at least 10 years;
  • is at least age 62 years old;
  • is unmarried;
  • is not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.

In addition, the former spouse must 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, benefits cannot continue to be paid if the divorced spouse remarries someone other than the former spouse, unless the latter marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment), or the marriage is to a person entitled to certain types of Social Security auxiliary or survivor's benefits.
A person can receive benefits as a surviving divorced spouse on the Social Security record of a former spouse who died fully insured, if he or she:
  • is at least age 60, or age 50 and disabled;
  • was married to the former spouse for at least 10 years; and
  • is not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.

If the surviving divorced spouse age 60 or over applying for benefits remarried after age 60, or after age 50 and at the time of remarriage was entitled to disability benefits, the marriage is disregarded. If a person is already entitled to benefits as an aged or disabled surviving divorced spouse and remarries, benefits continue regardless of the person's age at the time of remarriage.

The benefits paid to a divorced spouse or a surviving divorced spouse will not affect the benefit amount paid to other family members who receive benefits on the same record.
If you would like to receive an estimate of benefits you may receive as a divorced spouse or a surviving divorced spouse, you may contact our representatives at our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. They may be able to provide you with this information over the telephone. If you prefer, you may visit one of our offices. You can get the address and directions to your nearest office from the Social Security Office Locator that is available on the Internet.




How much can a divorced spouse receive?



Question

How much can a divorced spouse receive?



Answer

A man/woman who is divorced after at least 10 years of marriage keeps certain benefit rights on their former husband/wife's Social Security record. In order for him/her to get benefits, a divorced husband/wife must be at least age 62 and the former spouse must be eligible for benefits, but not necessarily receiving them. The maximum benefit is 50% of the benefit the worker would receive at full retirement age. However, benefits paid prior to full retirement age of the spouse are reduced based upon the age of the spouse at the time benefits are received. For a chart showing the reduction in benefits based on the year of birth, see "Retirement benefits and reductions by year of birth".



Papirex


Oct 4, 2006, 5:28 PM

Post #28 of 32 (5437 views)

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Re: [misslyn] silly newbie w/passport & transport needs camping companion

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Misslyn, Thank you, I am sure you are right. Upon reflection, I think I was thinking about survivorís benefits for my present wife. She had been told that upon my death, her benefits would be reduced. My latest research a few years ago showed that it would not be reduced, but would continue at the present amount.

All my research was done several years ago and rules and regulations do change constantly. It always seemed to me that the people at SS keep moving the ball too.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


melsie

Oct 5, 2006, 2:47 PM

Post #29 of 32 (5406 views)

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Re: [RexC] silly newbie w/passport & transport needs camping companion

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Thanks for the info. So far I haven't been able to find out anyting about this end of the stick.
I may or may not file. If I DO, I don't believe I'm elegible until retirement age - 62? And that's a ways off. But His is is twice the size of mine.
I'll continue to keep my ears to the ground.
Melsie


Papirex


Oct 5, 2006, 6:30 PM

Post #30 of 32 (5391 views)

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Re: [melsie] silly newbie w/passport & transport needs camping companion

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Melsie, be aware that if you retire at age 62 which is at present the youngest age for SS early retirement, instead of age 65 your benefit amount will be reduced permanently. You cannot go back at your full retirement age of 65 and re-file for full benefits on the same account. You might be able to file on one account early, and then at age 65 switch to a different account, since you will have yours and his to choose from. I donít know if that is possible though.

The retirement ages for younger people were raised when President Reagan corrected many of the shortfalls in the Social security System in 1982 or 83. The higher retirement ages only apply to people born in 1961 and later I believe. One of my daughters was born that year, and she will need to retire a few months later than if she was born the year before she was.

The increases in retirement ages now increase a few months, depending on the year and month of a younger persons birth, until they reach the maximum ages, which will be 64 for early retirement, and 67 for full Social Security retirement.

I mention this because about 15 years ago, my Suegra filed for Social Security retirement on her late American husbands account. My wife and her brother went with her to the Social Security office in Seattle when she filed. All three of them are fluent in English. All three of them misunderstood what the agent told them.

My Suegra filed for her pension at age 62, believing that she could file again at age 65 for full benefits. That did not happen, and is not allowed. She is losing about US$300 Dollars per month because she took early retirement. She is still in good shape financially. She owns her house in Mexico City, and also has a Mexican government pension. Still, money is money.

Everyone needs to look at their own financial situation when deciding if early retirement is a good move for them personally. I looked at it, and I would have been money ahead for 14 years if I had retired early, after that, it would have been a slowly losing proposition.

I loved my work though, and I didnít want to retire, I hated to do it when I finally did. I had a good job and I was increasing the amount in two other pensions, besides Social Security. My wife is considerably younger than I am, and my main motivation for working as long as I did was to provide a comfortable life for her when I am gone.

Rex

Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life - Confucius




"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


jerezano

Oct 5, 2006, 7:29 PM

Post #31 of 32 (5384 views)

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Re: [melsie] silly newbie w/passport & transport needs camping companion

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Hello Melsie,

No the idea is not unrealistic. In fact it is a good idea. And nobody on this board is going to flame you. Don't even think of it.

But do listen to advice. Then make your own choices. You will anyway, whether you listen to the advice or no. I would advise you, for example, not to even think of entering Mexico through Laredo or Nuevo Laredo. Just West of there is the Colombia Bridge which will bypass both Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. Try that. But why go that far? Isn't Nogales, south of Tuscon, Arizona much closer? Many people who come down the coast route you have been advised to travel enter there. And people who enter Mexico from California or Arizona have many more suggestions than I could possibly make with my experience all in Texas. In fact, what is wrong with Mexicali? Somebody here must have experience in entering Mexico from California. Just be patient, and ask.

And another observation, just for what it is worth. Perhaps you are telling us just a bit too much about your personal life. You have already told me things that I would never tell a stranger, and as yet, we here are all strangers.

In summary, ask for advice, listen, decide, but don't abandon your idea. A motor trip through Mexico for a single woman, even if she has trouble driving,or seeing, or is terrified by city traffic etc can be a very pleasant experience if she takes things easy and stays calm and collected. You want to do this for enjoyment. Then cool down and enjoy.

Adiůs. jerezano.


misslyn

Oct 6, 2006, 2:33 PM

Post #32 of 32 (5353 views)

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Re: [RexC] silly newbie w/passport & transport needs camping companion

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You might be able to file on one account early, and then at age 65 switch to a different account, since you will have yours and his to choose from. I donít know if that is possible though.
___________


Unfortunately this is not the case. You makes yer choice and yer stuck with it for eternity (or however long you may be above the sod).

Lyn
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