Wish your ex success; Social Security makes it to your advantage :: WaPo
When you are get ready to draw Social Security, you have a choice: to draw benefits based on your own earnings, or to draw 50 percent of benefits based your ex's earnings. That's assuming you are currently unmarried and old enough yourself to be eligible for full benefits.The payoff is the same as if you had remained married. I wonder if this incentive to divorce has changed the 7 year itch into the 10 year itch. And I wonder how much the provision is costing the American taxpayer.
But once your ex dies, you may choose between benefits based on your own eligibility or 100 percent based on your ex's earnings.
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The provision was added to Social Security in a limited form in 1965, then applying to only to women and only to those who had been married at least 20 years. The intent was to provide protection for women who had spent their lives in marriages that fell apart when they were far along in years, especially women who had not worked and had no Social Security of their own. In 1977, the provision was expanded to cover men and women who had been married at least 10 years.