Rules for Social Security

Roberta_z5December 1, 2004

Is it true that if I retire and live with a retiree we both get our complete SS checks, but if we marry, we get a lesser amount?

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It's been true for years, not sure about it now. I will be interested to know also. I personally wouldn't remarry, I have to much to lose, the day you marry half of everything you own is his. My Sis's neighbor remarried and had to pay off her husband's bankruptcy bills.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 6:48PM
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I think it is only true if you are planning to collect your retirement on your previous husband's record. Otherwise I am fairly certain that it doesn't make a difference.

Also, I live in a community property state which neither of you do and even here we aren't responsible for the debts that our new partner brings into the marriage.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 11:34AM
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Why not get the skinny from Social Security--they're the authorities.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 9:26PM
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Good luck calling soc security. If I ever need help again I will drive to their office.

In Kansas, your spouse's bills are your bills. If not paid it will go against your credit rating. If you have money of your own and marry, and your spouse needs a nursing home, your money is counted as his money. If anything should happen to my husband I will never marry again and jeopardize my security.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 7:08PM
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Hi all,

I've been saying for years that I'm looking for a rich widow - with no kids.

People ask why I'm worried about whether she has kids or not.

I say that I'm not looking for some young filly - who'd run my legs off. I'd prefer someone of (more or less) my own vintage.

Whose kids would be middle aged.

If they see some old fart sniffing about their wealthy Mom - they'll get really antsy, real fast.

If there's anything that I *don't* need - it's a partner whose kids hate me from the word "Go".

Have a great weekend, all.

The nice thing about retirement is - every day is weekend.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 8:31PM
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Hey, Joyful guy --- if you can find a old rich spinster without kids, you'll get everything you deserve!!!! HAHAHAHA. If a gal gets rich, has never married and has no dependents why would she want to marry you? You are in dreamland, my friend.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 8:38PM
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Joyful, you are a smart guy. I made the mistake of marrying a guy with 3 kids, nothing wrong with the guy. At first the kids were ok, but when I said no to raising 9 grandkids and I closed the bank to his middle aged kids, it went straight downhill. I won't even go into the ex wife thing.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 6:15PM
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If you were getting SS on your own earnings, that will not change.
You get which ever is the highest, SS on your own earnings or 1/2 of what your husband gets.

If a widow, who draws benefits from her deceased husband's account, remarries, I think she will lose those benefits and start receiving according to her new husband's account.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2004 at 2:33PM
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I'm not sure about that. I thought you had to be married so many years, before you could draw on a husband. Also I don't think you will draw on your former husband, I think that is what you lose if you remarry. I have heard so many people say they wouldn't remarry, because of losing part of your social security. I don't see how they could all be wrong. I will ask if I have need to call Soc Sec again.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 6:04PM
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Hi again, all,

I said, " ... looking for ... ".

Did someone hear, " ... marry ... "?

Though I imagine you're referring to Social Security rules, we're talking "Canada Pension Plan", a contributory and compulsory federal plan.

I think that their rules are similar, for I've heard some say that it gets costly for seniors to marry - for that reason, I think.

We have an Old Age Security system up here, as well - which housewives who were never employed receive, as well. There is a residence period in Canada required for that.

Private pension systems have a variety of requirements, of course.

Also - you may note that I mentioned " ... widow ... ".

A couple of years ago my old farmer (step-)uncle's wife died. He'd had three hip replacements and had serious pain in back, hip and leg, requiring him, in late 80s, to use a cane when going to the barn to care for his beef cattle. With his wife present, if he didn't return in an hour or so, she investigated: no wife, no check.

I didn't want to hear of him falling in a snowbank and freezing, so spent most of the time for a couple of months with him till his cattle went on grass.

Through two marriages that lasted for more than fifty years, he'd had no children. His sister, my stepmother, had a daughter from an earlier marriage and my Dad had three sons, so we got a sister when he remarried. Good deal, we thought.

While I spent the couple of months or so with Stuart, I told him that if he'd had three or four kids, they'd have worn off some of his rough edges, years ago.

A widow who has no surviving children would have become used to relating to another person in the same household.

That would be preferable to becoming relating to a spinster, I think - who may well have never needed to negotiate a relationship with someone sharing a house. Though many have, as they shared a home at least once with a housemate.

This all does make me look like quite a calculating individual, doesn't it?

While working as a clergyperson for a number of years, I've related rather intimately with a number of parishioner familes, as well - so have learned a few things about how humans operate.

Good wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season enjoying the company of friends and loved ones: one can kiss a loved one, but it's rather unrewarding to kiss a Dollar bill (or franc, mark, rupee, kroner, lira, yen or hwan).

joyful guy

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 9:16PM
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We have had great service just by calling the SS on the phone...I can not tell you how helpful and how much they go out of their way to be helpful...I will tell you that it is the first government agency that I have ever dealt with that seems to go out of their way....

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 12:19PM
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I worked for Social Security, so I know that if you remarry after age sixty, you are still eligible for a widow's benefit on your deceased spouse's record, if you are otherwise qualified.

Your benefit based on your own earnings is unaffected by marriage or remarriage.

The Social Security web-site has answers to most questions. (Actually, it has the answers to all questions, but some questions require more digging than others.)

Here is a link that might be useful: SSA website

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 4:02PM
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I just talked to a friend of my husbands about this question and he said he would like to marry his girl friend but she would lose the Soc Sec she draws on her former husband and it is a lot of money. He was a test pilot or something for one of the small aircraft companies.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 8:06PM
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Two questions and answers, copied and pasted from the Social Security Administration web site:

How long must you be married to a spouse to collect benefits when the spouse dies?

A person can qualify for widow's or widower's benefits if he or she was married to the deceased worker for at least the 9 months just before the worker died. (A surviving divorced spouse must have been married to the worker for 10 years immediately before the date the final divorce became effective.)

The 9-month duration-of-marriage requirement is waived if the insured person's death was accidental or if it occurred in the line of duty while he or she was a member of a uniformed service serving on active duty or if the widow(er) who was married to the insured person at the time of the insured's death was previously married to and divorced from him or her and the previous marriage had lasted 9 months; or if the worker was precluded from divorcing a prior institutionalized spouse under State law and married the widow(er) claimant within 60 days after the prior spouse's death. The first three of these exceptions to the 9-month duration-of-marriage requirement do not apply if at the time of the marriage the worker could not reasonably have been expected to live for 9 months.

The insured person's death is defined as accidental only if he or she received bodily injuries through violent, external, and accidental means and, as a direct result of the bodily injuries and independent of all other causes, died within 3 months after the day on which the injuries were received.

AS an alternative to the 9-month duration-of-marriage requirement and exceptions, a claimant may qualify as the worker's widow(er) if he or she:

 Is the biological parent of the worker's biological child;
 While married to the worker, legally adopted his/her child before the child attained age 18;
 Is the parent of a child who was legally adopted by the worker while married to the claimant and before the child attained age 18; or
 Was married to the worker at the time both of them legally adopted a child under age 18.

If I receive widow's benefits and remarry, how does this affect my benefits?

In general, you cannot receive survivors benefits if you remarry before the age of 60 unless the latter marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment. If you remarry after age 60 (50 if disabled), you can still collect benefits on your former spouse's record. When you reach age 62 or older, you may get retirement benefits on the record of your new spouse if they are higher.

Your remarriage would have no effect on the benefits being paid to your children.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 4:56PM
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It's been interesting seeing the different responses. When I became a widow at 57yrs I had to wait until 60yrs to receive my husband's social security benefit. With a new life this time actually helped me to find my own way with God's help

At the age of 62 I remarried. Did I ever get all kinds of advice! "You'll lose your widow's benefit" & on & on. I admit I did call Soc Sec 3 times to convince myself & once I saw it in writing that was it for me. The benefit is reduced at age 60, but such a wonderful blessing.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 1:07PM
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My sister was married to her 2nd husband for 16 years. When she got sick, he never wanted to be around anymore and he started staying out drinking. When she was in the hospital, he was at UK football games (true love, huh, LOL?) She divorced him and will never remarry. She finished paying off her house with the money she got from invested funds after being laid off. She is 67 and draws very little Social Security a month, around $550. She was lucky and got a good judge who awarded the house to her and ordered that he had to finish paying off the car which she got to keep. She gets no monthly monies from him and he has since remarried. I just ask you to be very careful and protect what you have. Any Prince Charming can turn out to be a frog, and a croaky one at that, LOL!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 10:45AM
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This has been a real good post I enjoy going back to since I joined this past year.

Downsouth has very good advice to protect one's assests. One hears horror stories, especially at this age. I could tell you a few, but this post is about Social Security.

Have to say, tho', I did marry a Southern gentleman & we celebrated our 3rd year on Valentine's Day. Not to say we haven't had our differences...we have grown from them. So far so good, but it's scary when you're about to retire.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 2:04PM
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Roberta--Why not call Social Security and get the true story instead of asking people who may not know any more than you do? This is not said in a derogatory sense, but that's what Social Security is there for.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 8:47PM
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Leel, you are right. I first asked the question on December 1st of last year and got my answer a few days later. Time to put this thread to bed!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 9:15PM
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My friend has never been married. If he wants to collect SS from his spouse, he must marry her, as there is no common law in New York. How long must he be married, before he can collect through her SS. Also is common law recognized in Virginia, as we also has a home there, but his spouse works in New York.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 1:18AM
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I'm also a former US Social Security employee. I worked in five different offices over a period of 31 years. One thing I found is that SS employees are always friendly and helpful to the public. They are true "public servants". There are many,many policies and procedures, and some may be hard to understand but SS employees are well-trained and will answer your questions fully and truthfully. You can use the website or call or visit any office. The national toll-free number is 1-800-772-1213. Local office numbers are listed in the phone book. Rather than wait in line, you can call ahead and make an appointment. Whichever you do, try to have the Social Security numbers of the individuals available when you call or visit. Just don't ask questions about other people, like your neighbor down the street you suspect of double-dipping. SS employees respect each persons privacy and will not give out information to third parties without permission. I am proud of my work at SSA, we provide World Class Service and have won many such awards.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 11:29AM
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