How Does Social Security Calculate My Benefit

Understanding how your Social Security monthly benefit is calculated is a very important piece of the retirement planning process. You don’t have to be a professional actuary to gain a helpful perspective of how those dollars you paid into Social Security throughout your career translate into the monthly benefit amount you see on your Social Security statement.

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Divorced, Remarried and Confused About Social Security

Recently, I came across a 2015 story about divorce rates in Tennessee produced by a local WATE Knoxville anchor, Kristen Farley. The article highlights issues fueling divorce in our area. Notably, Farley points out while Tennesseans are known for traditional values, 31.6% of men have been married two or more times, while 31.4% of women have been married two or more times. Both of these numbers are above the national divorce rate average (Men: 24.8% / Women: 24.48%). These data points align with my experience – more than a third of my planning sessions involve providing clarity to the types/amounts of Social Security benefits available to an individual who has been divorced and remarried. I’ve said many times that it’s one of the most complex areas of Social Security for an individual to comprehend and to know how to make an educated decision. To understand why, let’s look at a case study.

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