While your clients are certainly familiar with Social Security and the payments they’re likely to receive, they may know very little about spousal Social Security benefits. Basically, married clients may be eligible to receive benefits based on the years that their spouse worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system.
According to Michelle Herd, senior client advisor at TFC Financial Management, this benefit is one-half of what a spouse is eligible to receive at their full retirement age (FRA). Your client or their spouse’s FRA will be determined by their years of birth; FRA overall is increasing.
“When your client goes to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, the system will compare the benefits they could receive based on their own earnings record to the benefit for which they are eligible based on their spouse’s record and give your client the higher of the two benefits,” she explains.
Divorced spouses have benefits, too