Senior Living


Health & Spirit



Social Security and You: Three Reasons to Switch to Your Own Social Security

Q: I am about to turn 70, and I'm still working. When I was 66, I filed for widow's benefits on my husband's record. At the time, my own retirement benefit was less than my husband's rate. My plan was to let mine build up over time, hoping that by age 70, my rate would be higher than the widow's benefit I'm getting. But I checked with the Social...Read more

Workforce to shrink as baby boomers retire, birth rates fall

It's a national dilemma: Birth rates rose slightly in 2014 but are not high enough to sustain population levels, just as employers brace for the largest generation ever to retire in droves.

The oldest of 75 million baby boomers -- born between 1946 and 1964 -- turn 69 this year.

The challenge is heightened in Western Pennsylvania, home to some...Read more

Social Security Q&A: What is the maximum benefit I can receive?

Q: I'm planning my retirement. What is the maximum Social Security benefit I might receive?

A: The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire and how much you earned in your lifetime. For example, if you retire at age 62 in 2015, your maximum benefit will be $2,025. If you retire at full retirement age in 2015, your maximum benefit will be $...Read more

Social Security Q&A: Explaining different disability documents

Q: What is the difference between the disability application and the disability report? Do I have to complete both?

A: A disability application is a claim for Social Security disability benefits. A disability report provides information about your current physical or mental condition that we need to process your disability application. To ...Read more

Social Security and You: Mailbag Miscellany

This week, instead of concentrating on just one topic, I'm going to dig into my mailbag and answer random questions. I will try to keep my answers short and sweet so I can squeeze in as many questions as my column space will permit.


Q: I took widow's benefits at 60, intending to switch to my own at 70. When I was about to turn 70, I ...Read more

Social Security Q&A: How do children affect SSI payments?

Q: I saw a poster that advised people 65 or over with limited income and resources to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Next month I'll turn 65, and I thought I'd be eligible for SSI. I planned to apply until my neighbor told me I probably would be turned down because I have children who could help support me. Is this true?

A: ...Read more

Social Security and You: Maximizing Strategies Going, Going, Gone!

Congress and the president finally listened to me. With the budget bill agreement they reached a week or so ago, they killed the so-called Social Security maximizing strategies. And I say: good riddance! We will finally be getting Social Security back to its intended purpose: a social insurance system designed to provide a basic level of income ...Read more

Social Security Q&A: How long does it take to get a child's card?

Q: I applied for my child's Social Security card in the hospital but have not received it. How long does it take?

A: In most states it takes an average of three weeks to get the card, but in some states it can take longer. If you have not received your child's card in a timely manner, please visit your local Social Security office. Be sure to ...Read more

Social Security Q&A: How do I apply for disability benefits

Q: I was hurt on the job and can't work. How do I start my application for Social Security disability benefits?

A: If you have a disability that qualifies, you can apply online at . There are several advantages to applying online for disability benefits. You can start your disability claim immediately. ...Read more

Social Security and You: Medicare Mess Follow-Up

I should have kept my mouth shut. I just knew I never should have written last week's column in which I attempted to explain the Medicare Part B premium mess. And that's because almost before the ink was dry and your newspaper landed on your front door step, Congress changed the rules.

Regular readers of this column know that I don't like ...Read more

Historic Preservation Commission members hold unpublicized meeting

Some of the members of the Historic Preservation Commission held a meeting that was closed to the public Sunday afternoon.

Typically, the commission holds public hearings on the second Tuesday of every month and administrative meetings on the fourth Thursday of every month.

But a meeting was held at 4 p.m. Sunday at 145 Gorman St., and The...Read more

BRIEF: AARP offering class for senior drivers

AARP has scheduled a driving safety class from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Northside Senior Center, 1225 N. Adams Ave.

The course is designed for adults age 50 and older to help them adjust and familiarize themselves with new changes in vehicles, highways and traffic laws.

The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members.

...Read more

Analysts expecting higher bond default rates for U.S. coal sector

The oracles of Wall Street are foretelling the coal industry's bond default rate could surpass 50 percent if the country's two largest coal companies file for bankruptcy soon.

The crashing waves of coal companies filing for bankruptcy has caused the broader mining sector default rate to rise to double digits, according to a number of ...Read more

BRIEF: Street Talk: Oct. 26, 2015

"In college, I was a beer pong ball and my friend was the cup. We made the costumes ourselves, too." -- Steve Schaefer, Oneonta, lumber.

"My favorite was probably when I was a taco when I was 7 years old." -- Skyler Reak, Unadilla, high school senior.

"Pippi Long-stocking. My sister and I took wire hangers and twisted them into our braids ...Read more

Organ donation "the most comforting part" of WVU student's death, father says

It's been nearly a year since his son died, but TJ Burch said it hasn't set in yet.

"I know that in all likelihood, it never will," TJ Burch told a room full of people at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences Sunday morning.

Burch, father of Nolan Burch, was among the many who attended the fourth-annual "A Special Place" ceremony, ...Read more

Ten Commandments monument finds new home in Connellsville

The Connellsville Church of God and city residents on Sunday dedicated the Ten Commandments monument that was moved from Connellsville Junior High to church property.

The monument had been the subject of a lawsuit by those who opposed its presence on school district property.

Between verses of "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art," a ...Read more

Why some on Medicare, but not all, will be hit so hard

For those considering retirement, the advice has always been: Hold off applying for Social Security as long as possible because your monthly benefit will grow every year, perhaps by 8 percent, until age 70.

Such advice could be turned upside down this year for some Medicare beneficiaries.

Starting next year, premium increases for Medicare ...Read more

Concealed carry laws will not make campuses safer

Just eight days after a gunman massacred nine people at a community college in Oregon, two more students were killed in separate shootings on college campuses in Texas and Arizona. In many parts of the country, the shootings prompted a call to arm students and faculty.

Only in America do we respond to shootings by claiming a need for more ...Read more

Colleges Amp Up Sexual Assault Prevention Strategies

STORRS -- On a recent morning, UConn freshmen watched as two students improvised their way through a skit, with one trying to pressure the other to go out for ice cream at the university's dairy bar.

"But I take all of the freshmen down to the dairy bar, so we can kind of understand each other," said Nitasha George, an older student, trying...Read more

Grown Ups At Play Bowling

Whenever Leroy Wheatley ran into the school superintendent of his youth as an adult, he said the man would always ask him what his trick was to look so young. He wondered how Wheatley never seemed to age.

Every Thursday from 10 a.m. until the early afternoon at The Alley, people still sing that same song to Wheatley.

Wheatley is 98 years ...Read more