Social Security Ex-Spousal Benefits 66-70

Both my domestic partner of 16 years and I plan to take our respective Social Security Divorcee Ex-Spousal Benefits starting this year from age 66-70 while letting our own retirement benefits grow 8% a year until age 70. I entered this into the annuity section as an a guaranteed annuity for 4 years. However, it seems to put each annuity in for the entire year rather than by age as the Social Security section does (which creates partial year amounts depending on birthday month). Also, in contingent planning, it seems to assume that the annuity continues as a 100% beneficiary for survivor, even though this is not true. I have no idea how it taxes it. I suspect mine will be taxed at 85% while hers will be taxed at 50%. Are there any work-arounds for these issues? The Social Security section won't allow me to enter any spousal benefits as it seems set up only for legally married spouses. Thanks for any advice you can give me.


dan royer's picture

When you created your profile, did you indicate the status as "Single/Divorced/Widow/Widower"? If not, then you won't see the options to calculate SS correctly. You might do that to get the correct amounts?

It sounds like yoiu are using the "partnered" status, which of course treats the household as two singles. So perhaps you are just wanting to do that and provide a workaround for the SS aux benefit. If so, I would think that a series of Special Receipts might be a better way to model this than the annuity. I would think the partial year on annuities is not that big of an issue. I believe the annuity allows you to indicate percent going to survivor.

cclardy55's picture

Yes, I've been using the "partnered" status since the single status didn't allow for any contingent planning. I've been retired 8 years and doing Roth conversions during these low income years, while my partner is still working and supporting us. I am drawing a small pension which she is named 100% beneficiary if I died first. I'll take a second small pension at 70 that grows 10%/year delayed retirement credits. But without using "partnered" ESP Planner won't do any contingent planning, won't show her income and assets available to both of us as well as my own (which are more) throwing me temporarily into negative consumption, which causes the program to not run any reports. Also neither of us knows our respective ex-spouses yearly past earnings. I've just estimated the ex-spousal benefit amount in the annuity section since the Social Security Office refused to divulge that until we sign up. We plan to marry after we both turn 70 in 2020. If health issues come up before that, we can always marry sooner. I wish partnered could also include divorced and widowed statuses.

Hi, Our partnered version of ESPlanner is not as robust as we'd like. I recommend entering the spousal benefits you'll each receive as special receipts that are taxable. This may overstate your taxes, but better to error on the high side on projected taxes. If you need more help with this, email me at best, Larry

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