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I am 65 while my spouse is 52. My spouse has been the sole breadwinner of the family and we've been married for 25 years

If we were to get a divorce, can I start collecting now on my spouse's Social Security and/or Pension? If we divide the 401K evenly, can I start withdrawing from my half with no penalty?

  • Depends on what the QDRO says. Also, do you want to start collecting spousal benefits from Social Security before or after your divorce? – Dilip Sarwate Feb 24 '16 at 22:55
  • Thanks. I would like to start collecting Social Security after the divorce. – user39205 Feb 25 '16 at 0:42
  • Note - the QDRO applies to the 401(k) and maybe pension. I don't think there's any way for a divorce settlement to alter what you collect from Social Security. – stannius Mar 1 '16 at 18:06
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If we were to get a divorce, can I start collecting now on my spouse's Social Security and/or Pension?

Yes you can.

If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if they have remarried) if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's
    work.

If we divide the 401K evenly, can I start withdrawing from my half with no penalty?

Since you are over the age of 59.5, you can withdraw from your 401k without penalty.

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