9. If you are single and can find someone else single to marry and you have both been pretty good earners, you only need to be married for one year in order to qualify your spouses for spousal benefits. So two single people can marry at, say, 64, and then one can file and suspend at full retirement age – currently 66 and get the other “free” spousal benefits. Both, in this scenario, would wait until 70 to collect their largest possible retirement benefit. At that point you and yours could get divorced because the “free” spousal benefit would be over.
If you’ve been following the above, what you’ve learned is that for some people Social Security has pretty strong incentives to get married. For others it has strong incentives to get divorced.
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