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Retirement

The generous, and stingy, sides of Social Security

"So being married to that jerk is finally paying off!" said Sandy, after I explained how she could collect the equivalent of one-half of her ex-husband's Social Security retirement benefits. Luckily for those who had to endure the pain of divorce, you only need to have been married 10 years to access Social Security benefits on your ex-spouse's work record. In addition, both spouses need to be at least 62 years old and the claimant must be unmarried. If you wait until full retirement age, your benefit as a divorced spouse will equal one-half of your ex-spouse's full retirement amount -- as long as that amount exceeds the benefit you would be entitled to based on...

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