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1. If you divorce after at least 10 years of marriage and don't remarry, you can collect retirement benefits on your former spouse's Social Security record if you are at least age 62 and if your former spouse is entitled to or receiving benefits. This is true whether your ex remarries or not.
2. Full retirement age for Social Security is 65 for those born in 1937 or before and 67 for those born in 1960 or after. For those born in between these years, there is a sliding scale. You can still begin accessing Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, but you will lock in a payment stream that is approximately 30 percent lower than if you wait until your full retirement age.
3. The amount you are entitled to receive is 50% of your ex's Social Security benefit or your own benefit based on your own employment history, whichever is greater.
4. If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your ex's record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment).
5. If your divorced spouse dies, you can receive 100% of his benefits as a widow/widower if the marriage lasted 10 years or more.
6. Depending on your income bracket, 85% of Social Security benefits can be taxable.
7. One benefit to Social Security is that even if you collect benefits from your ex's record, this doesn't impact his benefit in any way, so it's not a negotiation point in divorce. In fact, he doesn't even have to know when you start receiving benefits.
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