Q: I am 53 and my wife is 50. We have had a very successful business and have made enough lucrative investments so that we have been able to sell the business and retire. But now we are a bit concerned about our future Social Security benefits. We could start another business, and pay ourselves a salary, just so that we continue to pay into ...Read more
Almost all people who work in this country are covered by Social Security. In other words, they have a job where Social Security taxes are deducted from their paychecks. But about 10 percent of Americans work at jobs that are not covered by Social Security. Usually these are state and local government jobs.
Why is that? Because back when Social...Read more
Q: I am 64 years old. I retired last year and decided to file for my Social Security in November. I got my first check in December. But now I've been offered a job that will pay me a rather substantial amount of money for short periods of time. Specifically, I would make $40,000 in May of this year and then another $40,000 in October. I realize ...Read more
Q: I filed for my Social Security benefits last year when I was 62. My wife, who never worked outside the home, and who is the same age as me, signed up for spousal benefits on my account at the same time. Several months ago, I found a job that pays me more than Social Security allows. I reported this to the Social Security people. They are now ...Read more
Before I begin today's column, I must clarify something. In several past columns, I discussed the looming April 30 deadline for filing a Social Security retirement claim and then immediately suspending benefits, usually to allow a husband or wife to claim spousal benefits while your own retirement checks remain in suspense until age 70 so that ...Read more
Q: My wife and I don't know if we should "file and suspend" or "file and restrict" and if we should do it now or if we should wait. Please help! I can't believe how incredibly complicated Social Security is. It's worse than the tax code!
A: I made a little promise to myself that I would NOT write another column about all the confusion over the ...Read more
I think I could write a column every day from now until the end of this month with a headline that screams: DON'T PANIC ABOUT THE ALLEGED APRIL 30 SOCIAL SECURITY DEADLINE! -- and people would still be panicking.
At least, that's what my emails are telling me. It seems as though half of the senior citizens in this country think they have to do ...Read more
In last week's column, I mentioned that older people across the country are panicking because they think they have to take some action, or make some important decisions, with respect to their Social Security benefits by April 30. This panic is being fueled by misleading advertisements and mailers targeting senior citizens. I got one in the mail ...Read more
I probably could write a column called "The Top 100 Social Security Myths." But that would fill up half of the website you are looking at or the newspaper you are reading, and the editors won't let me do that. So I'll limit myself to five.
Four of the five make every list like this I have ever written. But the current number one Social Security...Read more
Q: I was married to my husband for over 30 years. He was an old-fashioned man who said, "a woman's place is in the home," so he never let me get a job. Therefore, I have no Social Security of my own. He was a doctor and made a very nice living. I'm sure he will be due a comfortable Social Security retirement benefit. About two years ago, he ...Read more
Q: I am about to turn 62. I am thinking of retiring and taking my Social Security. However, everyone I know tells me I'd be foolish to do that. They all tell me to wait until at least age 66 when I can get full benefits. And others suggest I wait even longer -- until age 70. What do you think? And FYI: my wife and I have a 22-year-old son who ...Read more
Two weeks ago, I wrote a column discussing the Social Security disability program. I wrote about how the program is constantly criticized and subject to annual tinkering by Congress and other oversight agencies, primarily because of the program's subjective nature. Meaning, people have different opinions on what constitutes a disability for ...Read more
Q: I am 68 years old and get $1,600 in my own Social Security. My husband is 71 and gets $2,100. We have been married for 40 years. I am not going to get into the specifics, but he recently betrayed me. I am so disgusted, I can't live with him anymore. But someone told me if I divorce him, I won't be able to get widow's benefits on his record. ...Read more
Q: I am 66 years old. I'm not working, but have decided to delay taking my Social Security until I am 70. I did not sign up for Medicare at 65. I plan to wait until I am 70 to do that, too. I just don't think I'll need it until then. But someone told me that I will pay a penalty because I did not take Medicare at 65. Isn't that just another ...Read more
Q: I will be 65 in April. I plan to sign up for Medicare then. I also want to sign up for my husband's Social Security at that time to help pay for my Medicare premium. Then at 66, I want to file for my own Social Security. How do I do all that?
A: I'm sorry, but at your current age, you can NOT file for wife's benefits on your husband's record...Read more
Q: My husband and I both will turn 66 in July. I have never worked outside the home, so I have no Social Security account. My husband, who always has been a high wage earner, wants to wait until he is 70 to take his Social Security benefits to get the maximum rate. Can I get spousal benefits on his record beginning in July while he waits until ...Read more