Do I Get Extra Social Safety if I Get Married?

Expensive Penny,

My boyfriend desires me to marry him in order that I can benefit from his Social Safety. I’m 64, and he’s 74. I make about $5,000 a month proper now. He will get $1,700 in Social Safety advantages. 

Can he declare extra Social Safety advantages from me if we’re married? Will marrying him assist me with my Social Safety? I’m planning on working till I actually can’t work anymore. 

My job is in well being care, so it’s not simple working. Proper now, I pay the mortgage and a whole lot of bills.


Expensive E.,

Boosting your Social Safety isn’t so simple as strolling down the aisle. If that have been the case, I think we’d be inundated with wedding ceremony invitations from the 60- and 70-something individuals in our lives.

I don’t suppose both of you’d get extra Social Safety retirement cash from marrying. The principles surrounding Social Safety and marriage can get difficult. However mainly what it’s good to know is that probably the most you will get is 50% of your partner’s profit whereas they’re nonetheless dwelling. The identical rule applies when you’re claiming an ex-spouse’s Social Safety.

Double dipping isn’t allowed. So you’ll be able to declare your personal advantages, or you’ll be able to declare as much as 50% of your partner’s advantages, offered you’ve been married for at the least a yr. You don’t get to assert your personal profit plus half of a partner’s. (The 50% cap additionally applies whenever you’re claiming an ex-spouse’s Social Safety profit.)

Claiming spousal advantages usually is smart when one partner spent a major a part of their grownup lives exterior of the workforce. However you make $5,000 a month. You in all probability didn’t simply stumble right into a job that pays you $60,000 in a single day. I’m guessing you’ve an honest work file of your personal. So taking Social Safety by yourself earnings will virtually actually produce a better profit than the $850 most you would get based mostly in your boyfriend’s file.

Ought to the 2 of you marry, your boyfriend would have the ability to change to your profit whenever you file after you’ve been married for a yr. However keep in mind: Probably the most he may get is 50% of your profit. Until you’re anticipating to obtain at the least double the $1,700 a month he receives, he wouldn’t get an additional cent out of Social Safety.

All that mentioned, getting married may end in extra Social Safety for the widowed partner when one in every of you dies since survivor advantages pay as much as 100% of the bigger profit. But it surely sounds such as you’re extra involved about methods to enhance your retirement funds for the life you’ve constructed collectively.

Sadly, there actually are not any simple methods to extend your Social Safety advantages. Until you marry somebody who drastically outearned you, the options are mainly: Work longer. Earn extra money. Wait so long as doable.

However working endlessly and delaying Social Safety till age 70 merely isn’t an possibility for lots of people. You’re little doubt aware of that reality, particularly since you’re employed a tough job.

Marriage is unlikely to supply any fast fixes, however what I’m questioning is that if there’s something your boyfriend may do to make life any simpler for you. It sounds such as you’re underneath a whole lot of strain between working and shouldering so many bills.

Does he have sufficient financial savings that he may afford to contribute just a little extra? Any extra cash you would put aside to your personal retirement so that you don’t really feel like it’s good to work into previous age can be a giant win for you. Even when his funds is stretched to the max, does he assist you out with issues like cooking and family chores? Or is he keen to speak about methods like slicing again your funds or downsizing in an effort to finally cut back on work? There is probably not any simple solutions, however the strain to handle every thing shouldn’t fall on you.

In the end, a whole lot of choices surrounding love and marriage are inextricably tied to cash. But it surely doesn’t sound like that is one in every of them. Marry him when you suppose it could make you happier. However when you’re solely considering marriage since you need extra Social Safety, don’t trouble sending out save-the-dates.

Robin Hartill is a licensed monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your difficult cash inquiries to

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