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Social Security: Help a loved one with Social Security

The aged and people with disabilities may need extra assistance to manage their finances. If you have a loved one who needs your help, you may be able to become a representative payee. A representative payee receives the beneficiary's payments and is given the authority to manage them on the beneficiary's behalf. We recognize that turning ...Read more

Dear Doug: Learning New Tricks in Old Age

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: For as long as I've been alive, I've never bought a car. My husband always took care of it, but he passed away several years ago.

My current car has lasted me a long time but is on its last legs.

I'm afraid to even go into a car dealership. I don't know a lot about cars and know that some dealerships are very aggressive when trying to sell....Read more

Travel Trending with Kathy Witt: Create your perfect day at sea aboard new Sky Princess and Carnival Panorama cruise ships

Two of the newest (and most anticipated) cruise ships sailing the seas - Princess Cruises' timelessly elegant Sky Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines' impressive Panorama - offer tantalizing options for voyagers seeking a single goal: achieving their perfect day at sea.

PRINCESS - ALL ABOUT THE ROYAL TREATMENT

Princess knows how to craft ...Read more

Unlikely housemates: How a St. Louis startup matches empty nesters, millennials

WENTZVILLE, Mo. - When her husband died in a car accident, Karen Krienke, 65, found herself unexpectedly alone. Her home in Wentzville - once crowded with children - felt big and empty. Moreover, a bad back was slowing her down.

Her daughter worried. "She's so social," said Jane Krienke, who lives in Washington, D.C. "I didn't ...Read more

UC Davis professor helps with Alzheimer's care. Why her work goes beyond the office

Oanh Meyer is no stranger to Alzheimer's disease. Her everyday life revolves around caring for those who suffer from the ailment.

Meyer's office is at the UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center in Sacramento. But her care goes beyond the clinic: Her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a progressive disease that commonly causes dementia and has...Read more

Getting to the essence: Essential oils can be beneficial, but they should be used with caution

Essential oils show up seemingly everywhere. They're in lotions, hair care products, aromatherapy, cleaning supplies and more.

As gifts, they might arrive in little jars with a diffuser device. Essential oils are steam-distilled or cold-pressed extracts of almost any part of a plant such as seeds, flowers, fruit, leaves, stems and roots - so ...Read more

Recreation center specialist champions winter activities for everybody

VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn. - The National Recreation and Park Association didn't waste a minute before warning us to resist the temptation to become too sedentary in these wintry months. On the second day of the new year, the association reported that nearly 60% of U.S. adults are less active in winter and Midwesterners are among the most sluggish...Read more

Social Security and You: Readers Question AARP Article About Spousal Benefits

I've gotten quite a few emails from readers who have questions about an article on Social Security benefits for spouses that recently ran in an issue of the AARP Bulletin. Some of you thought the answers they gave were incorrect. But they were not. Let's review some of them in today's column.

And one caveat before I go on: In order to avoid a ...Read more

Dear Doug: Exercise Plan

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: I just turned 70 and have always been in good health. Despite my luck, I'm noticing that I share the same aches and pains as my friends.

I've maintained my weight since my 30s. I don't smoke, and I rarely drink. I'm active but not with any particular plan. Instead, I've kept up with nature walks, the occasional tennis match and housework.

...Read more

Social Security: Need to change your name on your Social Security card?

If you're changing your name, it's important to let Social Security know so we can update the information we maintain, send you an updated Social Security card, and ultimately ensure we pay you accurate benefits when you retire or if you become disabled.

To change your name in our records, you must provide Social Security with documents ...Read more

Social Security and You: Tips for Dealing With the Social Security Administration

Near the end of last year, I wrote a couple of columns in which readers complained about the service they received from the Social Security Administration. After that column ran, I predictably got emails from people with more complaints. They are usually from people griping about long wait times when they call the agency's 800 number or from ...Read more

Social Security: Top 10 sites of Social Security for 2019

We provide our online services to improve our service to you. Here are our top 10 websites of 2019:

Open your own personal my Social Security account, which will enable you to verify your earnings, get future benefit estimates, obtain benefit verification letters, update your Social Security information if you receive benefits, and more at ...Read more

Dear Doug: Self-Sufficiency

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: My husband passed away six years ago, and moving on has been a process. We were married for 37 years, and being on my own is strange, even now.

I never realized how much of my identity was formed by our relationship. We grew around each other with our own interests and talents. Beyond just missing my spouse, I've found myself having to ...Read more

Social Security and You: Turning 66 in 2020? 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 2020.

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 2020. The ...Read more

Social Security: Benefits and payments changes ahead in 2020

Each year, we announce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). By law, federal benefits increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Usually, there is an increase in the benefit amount people will receive each month, starting the ...Read more

Dear Doug: Too Late for Change?

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: People around me have been talking about their plans for the new year, especially their resolutions for 2020.

I always liked making my own resolutions but haven't made any for the last several years. Because of my age, I make excuses that any plans don't matter and that my health could fail me at any time.

When our family was talking about ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Update for 2020

It has been my custom for most of the past 23 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 2020 due to the ...Read more

Social Security: Seasonal work while getting Social Security

Many people pick up side jobs when the holiday shopping season comes around. It's a good way for you to make some extra income during the busy season. Or you can ease back into work if you have been out of the labor force for a while. We're here to help you navigate seasonal employment if you get Social Security.

You can get Social Security ...Read more

Dear Doug: Family Entertainment

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: My wife and I have been getting excited to have all of our children and grandchildren over for Christmas. This is the only time all year that we all get to be in the same room at the same time.

It doesn't happen every time, but often at least one grandchild gets worn out from the party and gets fussy. We have one grandson who's 14, but the ...Read more

75 years ago they fought the Germans, frostbite and Hitler's desperate gamble to change the tide of World War II

SEATTLE - They were, for the most part, 18, 19, or 20 years old - some just out of high school - fighting the German army in Central Europe in what many believed were the waning days of World War II.

Because of the weekslong battle they waged 75 years ago, Adolf Hitler wouldn't get the negotiated peace that he had sought from his last-ditch, ...Read more