EP: 136


Optimize Your Social Security Benefits After Divorce with James McGlynn

It’s hard enough to understand what Social Security benefits you may be entitled to as a married person, but once you’re divorced… Well, it’s complicated. Can you claim spousal benefits on an ex-spouse? What happens if your ex remarries? Or passes away?

James McGlynn is the CEO at Next Quarter Century, a retirement planning firm out of Fort Worth, Texas. He spent 35 years serving clients as a mutual fund manager before transitioning to retirement planning and developing an expertise in maximizing Social Security benefits. James is both a Chartered Financial Analyst and Retirement Income Certified Professional, and he earned his Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance at the University of Texas at Austin.

On this episode of Divorce Dialogues, James joins Katherine to offer an overview of the Social Security program, explaining how the spousal benefit is calculated and how long a married couple has to wait before they can claim it. He describes when a divorced person can collect spousal and survivor benefits (even if their ex remarries) and how to inform the Social Security Administration that you want to claim on an ex-spouse. Listen in for James’ insight on maximizing your Social Security benefits and learn what factors to consider in deciding whether to file as soon as you can—or wait until you turn 70.


An overview of the Social Security program and when Americans qualify to receive benefits

How the spousal benefit works and how the amount is calculated

The factors to consider in deciding when to claim your Social Security benefits

How long a married couple has to wait before claiming the spousal benefit

How an ex-spouse can claim spousal benefits if they were married for at least 10 years

What happens if a person has two former spouses and they were married to each for 10+ years

Informing the Social Security Administration that you want to claim a spousal benefit on an ex

How Social Security survivor benefits differ between a divorced spouse and a widower

What happens when your ex-spouse has remarried and you both claim survivor benefits

How your spousal benefit changes when your ex-spouse passes away

Why you may want to wait to remarry until after the age of 60

When and how to switch from collecting on your own benefits to collecting on an ex-spouse


Next Quarter Century

Email james@nextquartercentury.com

Call (817) 602-8859


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765


James’ Blog on Who Should File for Social Security Early

Next Quarter Century

Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-SSA-1213