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Sept. 18, 2020, 2:11 p.m. EDT

Collecting Social Security spousal benefits even if your spouse is gone

Widowed or divorced spouses can still claim based on their spouse’s earnings

By Howard Gold, MarketWatch


Everett Collection

If you’re married, you’ll often do better with a joint claiming strategy for Social Security benefits. As I wrote last time, that usually works best if the two spouses are close in age and if one spouse earned considerably more than the other did during their work lives.

But sometimes loved ones leave us way too soon and marriages end. These major life events can take a big emotional toll, but at least financially, Social Security can help cushion the blow.

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