On the morning after the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act, Vikki Lenhart of Hart & Patterson Financial Services conducted a financial assessment for one of her same-sex married clients and realized they were entitled to $36,000 in additional Social Security income.

"This couple are ages 69 and 67 and are a few years away from retirement,” Lenhart explains. “Both are high earners so the plan all along was to have them defer collecting Social Security benefits until 70, when their benefit amount would reach its highest amount. We were thrilled to let them know that after the DOMA ruling, there was a better option for them to implement. We informed them of the strategy that allows one of them to begin collecting spousal benefits immediately, while their future benefit amounts based on their own earnings records continue to defer.”

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