Both Spouses Can Get Social Security Benefits

If both of you worked, you're both entitled to a payout.

My spouse and I both have paid into the Social Security system for over 35 years each. I was told by a senior family member that my husband and I cannot both receive our Social Security benefits, but that we can only receive a benefit for one or the other of us. So if my husband retires and takes his Social Security benefit, when I retire I will not receive my Social Security benefit that I've been paying into all these years. Is that true?

See Also: Do You Know the Best Social Security Claiming Strategies?

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.