Social Security’s divorce and survivors benefits for same-sex married couples

gay-marriage-cake-toppers-485x320Same-sex marriage has been legal long enough in a couple of U.S. states that its pioneers may qualify for Social Security benefits even if they divorce.

Marriages that last at least 10 years before they end qualify the participants for both spousal and survivor benefits from Social Security. Spousal benefits equal up to half the benefit a spouse or ex-spouse has earned, while survivors benefits typically are equal to what the spouse or ex-spouse was receiving at death.

More information on the benefits available to same-sex married couples can be found in my column for Bankrate.

Also on Bankrate, I answer a reader’s question about using her 401(k) account to delay taking Social Security benefits. And on Reuters, I take a look at why parents are spending more and worrying less about college.

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