Saturday, June 05, 2010

US News points out "sneaky" ways to get more social security benefits from "family values"

MSN today (Saturday June 5) offers an article from U.S. News and World Report “6 Sneaky Ways to Get More Social Security,” link (web url) here.

And this is the “family values” article if there ever was one. Couples who were married for at least ten years stand to gain more, and particularly do couples in essentially one-earner families with stay-at-home moms (or dads). You read this, and you say, no wonder social security fits into the gay marriage debate.

There are complicated rules for the low-earning spouse involving full retirement age vs. early retirement. But in general, spouses can “claim and suspend” or “claim twice”. It’s even possible to get benefits based on ex-spouses records if the marriage lasted ten years. It’s also possible in many cases to increase benefits if there are other dependent family members.

This material would be covered in the latest (2008) version of “The Social Security Benefits Handbook” (Sphinx Publishing) by Stanley A. Tomkiel, link here.

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