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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Itkin, CDFA

How Much Social Security You Will Receive After a Divorce

If you were the lower-earning spouse during your marriage, you need to develop a strategy for when and how to claim social security after you divorce. Generally (if you meet the criteria), you are eligible for 100% of the benefit based off your work record or up to 50% of your spouse's benefit based on your spouse's work record, whichever is higher.

How do you decide at what age to begin collecting social security, particularly if there is an age difference between you and your ex-spouse? And what happens if you make a decision and then change your mind?

It is best to consider these issues before you get divorced so you can estimate how much income you may receive each month in the future. But keep in mind it's not too late to analyze these issues after your divorce.

If you don't have access to a social security benefits expert, the next best thing is to find a divorce financial planner or certified divorce financial analyst (also known as a "CDFA").

Robin Hartill, CFP, and the writers at The Penny Hoarder explain all the issues you need to know in this article, "Do I Need My Ex-Husband's Permission to Get His Social Security?" This issue is not gender-specific even though the title of the article may imply otherwise.


Laurie Itkin (a.k.a. "The Options Lady") is a financial advisor, wealth manager, and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). She serves on the national board of directors for the Association of Divorce Financial Planners. She is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, Every Woman Should Know Her Options: Invest Your Way to Financial Empowerment. Investopedia named Ms. Itkin one of the top 100 most influential financial advisors in the country for two years in a row. As a wealth manager at Coastwise Capital Group, which has received the annual Five Star award for "Best in Client Satisfaction" for 10 years, Ms. Itkin manages the investments of clients' brokerage, trust and retirement accounts. Through her financial consulting company, The Options Lady, she provides divorce-related financial planning and analysis to individuals and couples throughout all stages of the divorce process and has worked on over 250 divorce cases either as a financial neutral or advocate to one spouse. She also speaks at seminars for divorce attorneys and mediators on how to divide equity compensation, including restricted stock units and non-qualified and incentive stock options. Ms. Itkin has appeared as a guest expert on investing and financial aspects of divorce on television, radio and podcasts. She has been quoted in numerous publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Diego Union Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News and World Reports, Parade, Redbook, and Forbes. Ms. Itkin volunteers as a pro-bono financial planner for the San Diego Financial Literacy Center and Savvy Ladies. She earned her B.S. in economics with a concentration in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.



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