Senior Living

/

Health & Spirit

Social Security and You: You Always Have a Right to File a Claim

I've written columns similar to this before, but I must keep repeating the following message: whenever you are not sure if you are eligible for any kind of Social Security benefit, it never hurts to actually file a claim for that benefit. You have every right in the world to do so.

Today's column was prompted by several recent email exchanges I...Read more

Social Security and You: Daughter Due Benefits Gives Retiree Options

Q: I am about to turn 62. I am trying to decide if I want to retire and take my Social Security now; or wait until age 66 to get higher benefits. I know everyone has to make a similar decision. But I have a bit of a twist. I have a 14-year-old daughter, and I know she is due benefits on my account until she is 18. I am wondering: Can I file for ...Read more

Social Security and You: Women Who Worry They Are Missing Out

Every single day, I get emails from women wondering if they are missing out on some kind of Social Security benefits. These are almost always women in their late 60s or even in their 70s and 80s. They are either getting their own Social Security retirement benefits and wonder if they should be getting more money from their husband's Social ...Read more

Social Security and You: How to Apply for Benefits

I have written lots of columns that help you decide when to start your Social Security benefits. But once you make that decision, how do you go about signing up for them? That's the focus of today's column.

First, you've got to gather the documents you may need. What official papers or other evidence the Social Security Administration might ...Read more

Social Security and You: Sometimes Trying to Maximize Will Minimize

I thought I was done, at least for a while, writing columns about Social Security maximizing strategies. But as I've pointed out in past columns, probably 80 percent of the emails I get from my readers have to do with this topic de jour of the baby boomer crowd. So, obviously, there is still a lot of interest, and even more so, a lot of ...Read more

Social Security and You: Benefit Checks Are Accurate

Q: I am 82 years old. My husband is 85. Based on a recent column you wrote about wives getting benefits from their husband's account, I think I am due more money from Social Security. How do I go about getting what is rightfully mine?

A: I probably get a couple dozen emails like this every week. And even more after I write a column about Social...Read more

Social Security and You: Clarifying Widow's Benefits

Q: In past columns, you have said that if a woman is 66 or older when her husband dies, her widow's benefit will equal what the husband was getting at the time of death. But when my husband died several months ago, I started getting slightly more than he was getting. How do you explain that?

A: Sometimes I tend to oversimplify Social Security ...Read more

Social Security and You: No Reason to Not Apply for Medicaid

Q: I am about to turn 65. I'm still working and plan to keep working until at least age 70, if not beyond. I don't want my Social Security until then and I don't need Medicare because I am fully covered by my employer's health insurance. But someone told me that I am required to file for Medicare when I reach age 65. What's that all about?

A: ...Read more

Social Security and You: Full Retirement Age Going Up

Q: You keep saying the full retirement age is 66. But as you know, many of us have to wait longer to get full Social Security benefits. For example, I was born in 1955 and I have to be 66 and 2 months. What I want to know is this: If I want to take my Social Security early, do I have to wait until age 62 and 2 months?

A: You can start your ...Read more

Social Security and You: Full Retirement Age Going Up

Q: You keep saying the full retirement age is 66. But as you know, many of us have to wait longer to get full Social Security benefits. For example, I was born in 1955 and I have to be 66 and 2 months. What I want to know is this: If I want to take my Social Security early, do I have to wait until age 62 and 2 months?

A: You can start your ...Read more

Social Security and You: Full Retirement Age Going Up

Q: You keep saying the full retirement age is 66. But as you know, many of us have to wait longer to get full Social Security benefits. For example, I was born in 1955 and I have to be 66 and 2 months. What I want to know is this: If I want to take my Social Security early, do I have to wait until age 62 and 2 months?

A: You can start your ...Read more

Social Security and You: Examples Help Clarify Confusing Rules

I've recently had several email exchanges with confused readers. The topics varied, but I found that the readers tended to be confused until I gave them an example. Here are a couple of examples of ... well ... my examples!

Hank wrote to tell me that he was surprised by a recent column in which I explained that a woman who took reduced benefits...Read more

Social Security and You: They Said, I Said

People often tell me that they get different information or advice or answers from Social Security Administration representatives than they get from me. So they are confused and not sure whom to believe.

While, obviously, there is the chance they might get wrong answers from SSA clerks, or even bad information from me, I've been keeping tabs on...Read more

Social Security and You: Where to Get Medicare Advice

Regular readers of my column know that I rarely tread into the murky Medicare waters because I am not an expert on that program. Many people mistakenly assume that Social Security and Medicare are essentially two parts of the same government program. So because I spent 32 years working for the Social Security Administration, they think I should ...Read more

Social Security and You: Questions About Widow's Benefits

Q: I am very concerned that I may have messed up my future widow's benefits from Social Security. I started taking my Social Security when I was 62. I am now 68. My husband is 78 and in poor health. He is not expected to live much longer. Will I get reduced widow's benefits because I took my own retirement benefits early (before my full ...Read more

Social Security and You: Dealing With the Social Security Administration

Q: I've got a beef with Social Security. I barged into my local Social Security office, waited for a couple hours, and finally left. Then I tried calling their 800 number and after being on hold for a half hour, I just hung up. So I've decided to go right to the top. Can you please give me the address for the Social Security Administration ...Read more

 

Social Connections

Comics

Steve Breen Long Story Short Working it Out Free Range Jerry King Cartoons Ballard Street