Senior Living


Health & Spirit

Social Security and You: When Seniors Become Disabled

Q: I was going to file for my Social Security retirement in a few years. But I'm wondering if I should file for disability instead. I have all sorts of medical problems too numerous to mention in this email. What should I do?

A: You didn't give your age and you didn't tell me if you are still working. Knowing that information is key to ...Read more

Social Security and You: Please Stop Confusing SSI with Social Security

I sometimes feel like I should spend the first half of the column explaining to readers that the Supplemental Security Income program is not Social Security. And then I should spend the second half of the column explaining that the Social Security program is not SSI. But I will bet my next pension check that, after writing that same column each ...Read more

Social Security and You: Why Trump Won't Privatize Social Security

In the past week or so, I've heard from dozens of fearful readers asking about Donald Trump's plans to privatize Social Security. I'm going to suggest that people relax. President-elect Trump and his cohorts may have plans to privatize the Social Security system, but I highly doubt those plans will ever see the light of day.

Actually, every ...Read more

Social Security and You: Foreign Pension May Reduce Your U.S. Benefit

Q: I have lived and worked in the United States for the past 15 years. But I was born in Great Britain and worked there for about 30 years before moving to the states. I am 66 years old and about to retire. I get a British Social Security pension and just applied for my American Social Security benefits. Before I did so, the estimates the Social...Read more

Social Security and You: COLAs and Medicare Premiums

If I am reading national polls correctly, the majority of Americans claim they want smaller government and decreased federal spending. But if the emails I get are any indication of what people actually think, then what they are really saying is this: "I want less government spending for all those other people, but more for myself!"

My email ...Read more

Social Security and You: More Answers to Common Social Security Questions

In last week's column, I tried to squeeze in as many concise answers as possible to some of the most commonly asked questions I get. But even keeping my replies short, I still ran out of room. So today, more of the most frequently asked questions and more quick and dirty ... make that quick and clean ... answers.

Q: For reasons I don't want to ...Read more

Social Security and You: Commonly Asked Social Security Questions

I've just looked back on my columns for the past several weeks and noticed I went off on some esoteric subjects. I write those kinds of columns because I dread going over the same Social Security topics over and over again. But I know from readers' emails that people don't mind repetition. In fact, they often write something similar to this ...Read more

Social Security and You: LBJ Did NOT Steal Social Security Funds

Poor Lyndon Johnson. When it comes to Social Security, he gets blamed for something he never did. Our 36th president is often accused of being the first chief executive to tamper with Social Security financing. Well, he did tamper with it. But not in the way conventional wisdom would have you believe.

And I was reminded of this in the reactions...Read more

You Can Save Social Security!

There is no question that as the tens of millions of working and tax-paying baby boomers retire and turn into senior boomers collecting Social Security benefits, some adjustments will be needed to keep the program viable for future generations.

As I pointed out in last week's column, the system doesn't need a massive overhaul. Just a few ...Read more

Top-Five Social Security Political Myths

I could probably write a column, or more appropriately, a book, called "The Top-100 Myths About Social Security." There is just so darn much misinformation out there, mostly online, about our nation's bedrock social insurance system.

Those myths can be divided into two broad categories: political and practical. In a recent column, I dealt with ...Read more

Social Security and You: What to Do When Someone Dies

Coincidentally, I received two questions on the same day dealing with the same topic. Each had a relative die and each asked, "What do I do about his Social Security?"

The answer to this depends on many factors. So I thought I would use this column to provide a sort of laundry list of advice about dealing with Social Security when a friend or ...Read more

Social Security and You: The Original Law Was Not So Great

Q: I think there are far too many people getting Social Security benefits. So I have a plan. I believe that in order to save the program, we need to take Social Security back to its original intentions. If we went back to the very first Social Security law, can you tell me who would no longer qualify for Social Security benefits?

A: Well if you...Read more

Social Security and You: Facts and Figures

If you are doing any kind of research into Social Security issues, the Social Security Administration's office of Research, Statistics, and Policy Analysis produces a plethora of publications covering almost every conceivable Social Security-related topic. Admittedly, some of them are only for serious scholars or historians. Here are a couple of...Read more

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