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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.
The benefits of marriage don’t stop at love and companionship. In some situations, marriage can result in more Social Security benefits. If you stay married for at least 10 years, those benefits can last even if you get divorced.
But the rules for marriage and Social Security get complicated.
You don’t automatically get more Social Security benefits just because you’re married. Many, if not most, people will get the biggest benefit by claiming on their own work record.
But if your work history is limited and you marry someone who earns significantly more money than you do, you may get more from Social Security by claiming spousal benefits. Here are several things married couples can’t afford not to know.
1. You can get up to 50% of your spouse’s full benefit
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The maximum spousal benefit is 50% of your spouse’s primary insurance amount. That’s the benefit they’ll qualify for once they’re full retirement age, which is 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later.
If you take benefits before your own retirement age, you’ll get less than 50%. For example, if you start your benefits at 62 — the earliest age you can take Social Security — you’d receive just 32.5% of their primary amount.
2. You don’t get…
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