Social Security Matters

Ask Rusty – Should We Get Married or Just Live Together?

Dear Rusty: My question is about benefits and getting married. I am a retired man, 65-yearsold, and collecting Social Security plus 2 pensions. My girlfriend will turn 62 in October of 2020 and plans to apply for Social Security benefits on her 62nd birthday. If we were to get married, would we be affected money wise? Or should we just live together? Signed: Contemplating Marriage

Dear Contemplating Marriage: Your own Social Security benefit will not be affected in any way if you get married, unless your potential new bride is a very high earner and her Social Security entitlement at her full retirement age (which is 66 years and 8 months) is more than twice the full benefit amount you were entitled to at your full retirement age (even though you claimed your SS earlier). In that case, you would become eligible for a spousal benefit from your new wife after you are married for one year.


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