Three Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Social Security Benefits

retired couple laughing in kitchen - social security
retired couple laughing in kitchen - social security

Figuring out how to get the most out of Social Security when you finally retire is a little like playing chess: Understanding the strategy is the only way to win.

Here are three things that aren't obvious about the Social Security system that will help you get the most out of Uncle Sam's retirement program:

Claim on Your Ex-Spouse's Account. First of all, don't worry -- no Social Security benefits are changed, reduced or penalized by an ex-spouse's claim, but it is true that the former Dear Spouse could be worth more to you dead than alive. Let me and Social Security explain: To qualify to play this game, you have to have been married for 10 years and you can't be remarried. But if subsequent marriages last 10 years and end in divorce, all is forgiven and you are back to being eligible again.