rewardA for delaying divorce
If you're not happy in your marriage after 9 1/2 years, hold off before hiring a divorce attorney.
"Stay married for at least 10 years," says Raphael Gilbert, vice president, personal banker at San Francisco-based Bank of America.
Why? That's what it takes to stake a claim to your ex-spouse's Social Security benefits. If you terminate the marriage after 9 years and 11 months, you're out of luck.
If you make it for 10 years, you can collect a Social Security benefit based on up to half of your ex's earnings or on the basis of your own earnings -- whichever is higher. This is particularly important if one parent stayed home with the kids while the other worked.