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Tom Margenau answers your social security questions in the latest edition of his column, Social Security and You:

Q: I’m part of a group of old geezers who gets together every week at the local coffee place. Social Security is a frequent topic of conversation. At our last meeting, the subject of benefits for divorcees came up.

One of our geezers was married to his first wife for 16 years and to his second wife for 30 years. His first wife remarried, but she is now divorced from that guy after 20 years of marriage. If our geezer pal dies, who will get what? He’s mostly wondering if his first wife will get Social Security from him or from her second husband.

A: Well, the answer depends on a lot of ifs, ands or buts not made clear in your email to me — like people’s ages and Social Security benefit rates. So I’ll make up a scenario to give you an example of how all this would play out.

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