Senior Living


Health & Spirit



Social Security and You: Working Seniors Pay Taxes and May See Benefit Increase

Q: I just turned 71 years old. I have been getting Social Security since I was 66. I was having trouble making ends meet and I recently took a job doing some consulting work. I just got my first paycheck, and I was surprised to learn they are taking Social Security taxes out of my paycheck. I thought once you are getting Social Security, you no ...Read more

Social Security: Receiving housing benefits? A trip to social security may not be necessary

Social Security is constantly evolving to make your life easier. If you are currently receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and are reapplying for benefits, or are assisting someone with their application, a trip to the Social Security office is probably not necessary even if verification of Social ...Read more

Social Security and You: Gold-Digging Wives and Social Security

After I published a recent column discussing possible Social Security reforms, lots of people wrote to tell me that no changes would be needed to the system if benefits were paid only to people who "deserve" Social Security. I am always intrigued, and usually a little perturbed, by such allegations. They usually come from people who tell me that...Read more

Social Security and You: Retiree With a Child Makes Age 62 an Attractive Starting Date

Most people are correct to think that they will be ahead financially to wait until age 66, or maybe even until age 70, to claim their Social Security benefits. But for that small cadre of retired folks who still have minor children at home, the addition of those dependents to the Social Security account can make for a whole different perspective...Read more

Social Security and You: Retirement Benefits -- How They Are Figured

Q: I am about to turn age 64. I have been laid off and do not think I will be able to find another job. So I am thinking about starting my Social Security benefits. And it dawned on me that I have no idea how my benefit is figured. Is it based on my earnings? Is it based on my age? Please help!

A: It's based on both your earnings and your age. ...Read more

Social Security and You: Two Widows Present Unusual Cases

I am constantly amazed! I have either worked for the Social Security Administration, or been writing a column about Social Security issues, for about 44 years. And you would think that in all of that time, I have bumped up against almost every possible Social Security scenario one could imagine.

Yet, just recently, I received two emails from ...Read more

Social Security and You: Celebrating Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, we honor African Americans by celebrating Black History Month. Created in 1926, this event coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and Frederick Douglass on February 14. African American communities have celebrated these birthdays together for over a century.

Honoring our shared history ...Read more

More Questions About the Earnings Penalty

In a recent column, I explained to readers who are under 66 and working how they could work with Social Security's complicated earnings penalty rules to avoid the oftentimes nightmarish bureaucratic hassles involved in dealing with the Social Security Administration on these antiquated laws. (Rather than rehash the whole story, I suggest that ...Read more

Social Security and You: Don't Worry. Be Happy! It's Nickels and Dimes.

I am always surprised at the number of people who are so darn intent on squeezing every last nickel they can out of their Social Security benefits. I get that people want to get all the benefits for which they are eligible. But some folks seem absolutely obsessed about the issue. I swear they must lie awake at night, worrying about decisions ...Read more

Social Security and You: My Advice is Don't Play by the Rules

Well, let's see if I get in trouble again! Today's question comes from a retiree who plans to return to work and is worried about how his earnings might jeopardize his eligibility for his Social Security benefits.

It's a question I'm often asked. And my usual answer doesn't exactly follow the Social Security Administration playbook. In the past...Read more

Social Security and You: Robbing the Cradle Has Its Drawbacks

Q: I am 76. I have a much younger wife. She is 51. She has never worked outside the home. What will she get when I die? How about Medicare?

A: I am sure there are some advantages to having a much younger spouse. But from a Social Security perspective, "robbing the cradle" has its drawbacks.

Your wife won't be due any benefits on your record ...Read more

Social Security: Retirement planning

It's 2017, and that means you might be one more year closer to retirement. Whether you're at your very first job or wrapping up a successful career, there are always new things to learn about when it comes to saving for the future. So why not make retirement planning part of your New Year's resolution!

Putting money in a high yield savings ...Read more

Social Security and You: Questions About SSI Benefits

Q: You've written in past columns that the SSI program is not a Social Security benefit. But my sister is getting SSI. And when she gets letters about her payments, they come from the Social Security office. So how can you say SSI has nothing to do with Social Security?

A: To answer your question, let me give you a little history lesson. Back ...Read more

Social Security and You: The Post-Truth Era and Social Security

They say we are living in the "post-truth" era -- a time when discussion and debate is framed by appeals to emotion rather than verifiable facts. This, of course, is nothing new. Throughout history, more than a few politicians have ridden a populist wave of half-truths and outright deception to places of power, sometimes all the way to the White...Read more

Social Security and You: Turning 66 in 2017? Consider Filing for Benefits this Month

I write a column similar to this one every January. But I don't mind plagiarizing myself because it contains a very important message for people planning to retire in 2017.

January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries who are reaching 66, their so-called full retirement age, in 2017. The ...Read more

Social Security and You: Update for 2017

It has been my custom for most of the past 18 years to write a year-end column that summarizes the Social Security changes and updates scheduled to take place the following year.

Almost all Social Security beneficiaries are familiar with the most popular and publicized upcoming change: the increase in monthly benefit checks for 2017 due to the ...Read more