Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Tax Payer Cost of Divorce

One of the many tax payer costs of divorce is that divorced people can claim social security benefit based on an ex-spouse contribution history. How much this costs taxpayers is quite difficult to figure out. But let's take a stab anyway.

  • Approximately 2,000,000 (roughly) women are divorced who are of social security age. See
  • The increase in social security for a divorced woman receiving social security over a married one is $1860/year. See

Thus the cost to taxpayers is $3.72 billion/year. (2,000,000 x 1860) And that is a conservative estimate given that I have ignored men who receive social security based on their ex-wife's income. I did this because I could not find good statistics for men. Yet another subtle sign of sexism.

Taxpayers are not only subsiding people who divorce but are actually encouraging them to do so.

Even worse, to quote the social security administration in the second link above, "many divorced women will become eligible for the higher benefits if their ex-husbands die" Yikes! What a crazy world.

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